The Sunday Mirror has reported that 12 Tory MPs are willing to submit letters to the 1922 Committee to express no confidence in the incoming prime minister – and this, even before Truss sets foot in 10 Downing Street. For Jake Berry, MP for Rossendale and Darwen in Lancashire, such a move was “certainly suicidal”, while former Conservative chancellor Lord Hammond warned Johnson not to linger like a “malevolent shadow”.
The Truss factor has also given British Labour a boost of seven percentage points. Party strategists, as part of this bounce, have already readied a campaign in the so-called Red Wall seats, using previous, leaked remarks from Truss about how British workers produced “less per hour” than their foreign equivalents, “and that’s a combination of, kind of, skill and application.” But opinion polls do not deliver election victories. The Tory party machine, cunning, ruthless and mendacious, does at least know something about that.