“Liz is ticking all the boxes for the party members,” said Edward Tolcher, 62, a school finance director from Solihull, a nearby suburb. He is supporting Mr. Sunak but thinks the race is basically over.
Ms. Truss’s laser focus on orthodox Tory positions has played better than Mr. Sunak’s pitch, which is built on telling voters hard truths, like that Britain must tame inflation before it cuts taxes. She has also steadily improved as a campaigner, showing confidence and flashes of humor.
“A lot of people thought she would be very wooden, and she has performed better than expectations,” said Gavin Barwell, a former chief of staff to Mrs. May.
But he and others say Ms. Truss may be pushing problems down the road by refusing to be more open about her plans. Her appeal to a narrow constituency, they add, could make it hard to hold together the coalition that Mr. Johnson forged in 2019. His election victory that year was built by luring disillusioned Labour Party voters from the industrial Midlands and north, who were drawn to his promise to “get Brexit done.”
Reducing taxes, rolling back regulations and shrinking the state are less attractive policies for working-class voters in these so-called “red wall” areas. Many are comfortable with a generous social safety net and view the government as a bulwark against what they believe is a system rigged against them.
The Political Situation in Britain
After getting ensnared in various scandals, Boris Johnson said he would step down as prime minister of Britain, clearing the way for a new leadership race inside the Conservative Party.
“Liz Truss is offering policies which not only risk fueling the current economic crisis but are also at odds with the values of these new Conservative voters,” said Matthew Goodwin, a professor of politics at Kent University.