Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak competed in a television duel. Who made the race? Answers from Michael Gerber, SRF UK reporter.
Who was better at TV fencing? It was a tie with a slight advantage to the gears. She kept a calm head under Sunak’s rhetorical barrage and was able to deliver her messages in a way that was easy to understand. Sunak tried to go forward with the attack, often interrupting her, speaking incredibly quickly. Because Sunak should have scored points to catch up with Truss in the polls. But his aggressive tone was annoying, sometimes “gnawing the knee”. He probably did more harm than good to himself. Sunak did not come off the defensive.
What are the arguments for fiscal policy? Sunak confirmed he had already helped families hit hard by the crisis as finance minister a few weeks ago, with a total of £150 in electricity bills. He said he would do it again in the fall if necessary. Truss, in turn, promised to cut taxes once he took office. For example, the fee for the National Health Insurance Fund will not increase, and Sunak also worked as Minister of Finance. This gives people some breathing space. So they both want to give something to everyone. At the moment, it is difficult to say who is the most convincing.
What role did Boris Johnson play in the fencing? subordinate. Every now and then, memories of the resigned Prime Minister woke up. For example, when the question arises of what character traits the future leader of Great Britain should possess. There was talk of honesty, decency and reliability – all qualities not necessarily attributed to Johnson. The question of whether they would like Johnson to be in government has become exciting. Truss, who is still in Johnson’s caretaker, distanced herself orally.
What does such a duel bring candidates?
During the debate on Monday evening, the audience was present in front of the television. However, only about 160,000 members of the Conservative Party can decide whether to elect Boris Johnson’s successor. Would such a television duel bring anything if only party members’ votes were counted? “Yes,” said Michael Gerber, reporter for SRF. “Both can present themselves to a wide audience. They can present their programs and use arguments to test them in the discussion.”
Of course, there is a risk that new divisions will open, according to Gerber, because the two opponents will have to disagree, and the new prime minister will then have to bridge these differences again after taking office. “It certainly wouldn’t be easy, because then you would not only have to address the party base, but a much broader electorate of party lines,” Gerber says.
The whole thing shows: “The debate on television is very interesting and exciting, but it has its drawbacks for the party and the future leader.”
Sunak tried to get close to Johnson because he knew that part of the base was still in very good shape. He praised Johnson’s determination that his implementation of Brexit was perfect. Both tried to reposition themselves. But they agreed on one point: Neither Sunak nor Gears want Johnson in government.
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