The race on the right flares up as Kemi Badenoch takes on Liz Truss

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Rishi Sunak won both televised lead races. Opinions in a snap public opinion poll after last night’s second debate, he finished ahead of the rest. Tom Tugendhat, whose performance in the first debate highest rating out of all the candidates, will almost certainly be eliminated in today’s leadership vote.

Sunak really had a very good weekend. His congressional activism did a great job of stopping the bleeding on the second ballot and getting him past the psychologically important 100-vote margin. The very real possibility of MPs panicking and abandoning him during attacks has been eliminated.

Added to that, Penny Mordaunt, the only candidate with a reasonable roadmap to keep him completely out of the final Tory vote, which has seen her momentum level off in recent days. She still has a good chance of snagging the coveted second place alongside him, and it will be tight at the top between the first, second and third place contenders.

But it’s really the race to the right of the party that will matter over the next few days. Some thoughts on that and more in today’s newsletter.

Make a truss for the two of us?

Where do Conservative members get their news? The answer can be found in the excellent book Footsoldiers by Tim Bale, professor of politics at London’s Queen Mary College. In front of the preferred choice of 33% of Tory activists is the Telegraph, then the Times with 21%, closely followed by the Mail with 17% (the remainder is divided into low single digits between the remaining sections). back of the papers).

Those three publications – along with Spectator magazine, which, in addition to having more than 100,000 subscribers, are an important factor in improving the mood in Tory circles – are really important in the internal contests of the Tory. Conservatives.

Think of it that way, and you begin to realize the quietly effective campaign Liz Truss has had. She delivered excellent coverage from all three key articles in this contest, plus a pretty cool interview with Spectator’s Katy Balls.

So far, she has seen off two candidates, each arguably with the better credentials to lead the party’s right wing. Truss’ success in closing early confirmations helped her beat Priti Patel before the competition even started. She defeated Suella Braverman and got her support in the process.

But Kemi Badenoch, the former equality minister, is a much more dangerous opponent for Truss. Unlike Patel, she is not plagued by a record in government that has disappointed many Conservatives, and unlike Braverman, she is unaffected. . . well, she’s not Braverman. Neither Truss nor Badenoch are afraid of being eliminated in today’s vote, because there are not many votes left for Tugendhat to win. So it’s really a battle between the two of them for a crucial third place today, as Tory MPs continue to vote this week to knock the remaining five candidates to the shortlist. two people.

Bar chart of Percentage Change from Friday's debate results, polls asked "Which of the following do you think works best in the debate?" televised debate on Sunday night was an impetus for Truss

The biggest takeaway from last night’s debate was that Truss’ improved ranking from the debate poll and her better performance meant she probably did enough to remove the threat from Badenoch today.

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Now try this

I spent a lot yesterday at my local cottage, because I really like cinema, but also because I discovered that I really love and cherish air machine.

In the morning I saw A Chiara, an Italian-language film about a teenage girl whose life is changed forever when her father is revealed to be a crime boss and forced to run away. A very strong bit of neo-realist filmmaking, although the actual resolution of the plot seems a bit messy.

In the afternoon, I see Spanish flashing Good boss (Danny Leigh’s great review is here). A perfectly acceptable dark comedy: as Danny says, humor is as subtle as a brick and it would have been a better movie if it had been reduced to a cool 90 minutes. But worth a look if you’re on a plane or looking for somewhere cool to spend your time during the summer.

However, I have to admit, I’m confused as to how it performed so well at the Goya Awards, where it racked up a record number of nominations. It’s not even the best spanish movie This year – that’s great Parallel mothersAlso an inspiration one of my favorite Danny Leigh verses of the year:

It can also remind you of the weird rhythms of seeing kids grow up: glancing away from an infant, turning around and finding yourself at an 18th birthday party.

Parallel mothers available on Netflix and as a physical release. I cannot recommend it highly enough. At three o’clock, it’s quite a time commitment but every minute feels worthwhile.

Inside Politics edited by Georgina Quach. Follow Stephen on Twitter @stephenkb and please send rumors, thoughts and feedback to

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