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Pankaj Mishra

Stumbling Sunak Shouldn’t Pander to the Tory Base

By catering to the lowest common denominator of British politics, he is making it more arduous for people like him to thrive.

Technocrat in trouble.

Technocrat in trouble.

Photographer: Peter Nicholls - Pool/Getty Images

The Tory contest to replace Boris Johnson as British prime minister is turning into a coronation: Johnson’s ally Liz Truss has taken a massive, 34-point lead in the recent YouGov poll over her rival, Rishi Sunak, the former chancellor of the exchequer.

What explains this overwhelming Tory preference for Truss? Certainly, the great majority of the British electorate doesn’t share it. The latest Ipsos Political Monitor reveals Sunak as the public’s favorite; he is clearly the candidate that the opposition Labour Party fear most.