Updated: Tue, 19 Jul 2022 08:03 AM IST
Former British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday (local time) won the latest round of voting among the Conservative Party members of Parliament to strengthen his chances of replacing Boris Johnson as the next Prime Minister of the country.
The race to replace Johnson has now also narrowed to four as lawmaker Tom Tugendhat was eliminated. As per the results, Sunak received 115 votes, while his nearest rival Penny Mordaunt bagged 82 votes.
Meanwhile, Liz Truss, Kemi Badenoch, and Tugendhat got 71, 58, and 31 votes, respectively.
The next round of voting will be held on Thursday. The MPs will continue vote until only two candidates remain, the winner then being decided by the party members.
Sunak, 42, remains the most popular choice to replace Johnson and an opinion poll has found that nearly half of the United Kingdom's (UK) governing Conservative Party believe he make a good Prime Minister.
The survey, which included feedbacks of over 4,400 people, found that 48 per cent of those who backed the Tories in the 2019 general election feel that Sunak would be a good Prime Minister.
It further said that Truss has 39 per cent backing to become the next Prime Minister while 33 per cent are in favour of Mordaunt.
Sunak, however, would face many challenges if he becomes the next Prime Minister as the British economy is facing rocketing inflation, high debt, and low growth, leaving people grappling with the tightest squeeze on their finances in decades. All this is set against the backdrop of an energy crunch exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, which has sent fuel prices soaring.
As the contest intensifies it has also become increasingly fractious as rival camps trade barbs and some offer a series of eye-catching tax cutting pledges. Sunak earlier had said it was not credible to offer more spending and lower taxes, saying he was offering honesty "not fairytales".