Politics

5 reasons Liz Truss is shaping up to be a worse prime minister than Boris Johnson

King Charles says 'back again, dear, oh dear' to Liz Truss as …
Indy

Liz Truss has had perhaps one of the worst starts to power of any British prime minister in modern times.

She's plunged the pound, plunged her own popularity rating, and while she was still moving her stuff into Downing Street, there were already rumours that duplicitous Tories were planning to get rid of her.

It is curious to think then that a few short months ago people were desperate to see the back of her predecessor Boris Johnson, naively believing that we couldn't get any worse than a standards-stripping charlatan who seemed more interested in going on holiday than intervening in the cost of living crisis.

But while we don't want the Great Debaser anywhere near Number 10 again, we can't help but wonder if he was the lesser of two evils.

Is Truss worse than Johnson? Let us count the ways.

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1. She's more unpopular in the polls

Truss is more unpopular than Johnson was at the height of Partygate.

Opinium found this week that her popularity sits at an ego-bruising -47 per cent, while Johnson reached a low of -44 as Partygate news hit the airwaves.

She has even plunged lower than Theresa May’s score of -46 in the days prior to her resignation.

“The Conservative party conference has not, it seems safe to say, given the Truss administration the boost in the polls it might have hoped for,” said Adam Drummond, Opinium’s head of political and social research.

You can say that again.


2. She's made the Tories less popular in the polls

Not only is she drowning in the depths of public opinion, but she's dragged the Tories down with her.

The latest YouGov poll put Labour miles ahead of the Tories - or 29 points ahead to be exact.

Polling from Redfield & Wilton Strategies also shows that even the likes of Johnson, Dominic Raab, Jeremy Hunt and Sir Iain Duncan-Smith could all lose their seats, so we doubt they are happy with her.

We don't exactly know why, but when Johnson was in power, the Tories polled far better.


3. She's f***ed the economy

Truss's biggest disaster to date has been her handling of the economy. After chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng made his "fiscal statement", the pound took a tumble, falling by more than 4 per cent to just 1.03 dollars in early Asia trading before rebounding to 1.09.

She's also made confusing statements about how the government will fund tax cuts, has been forced into an embarrassing u-turn and the price of 20-year UK bonds hit new lows on Wednesday afternoon.

Great job, PM.


4. Her MPs are already plotting against her

Party chairman Jake Berry recently said that when "the going gets tough, the Truss gets going" - in an odd attempt to defend his leader.

But what we know about Tories is that when the going gets tough, they get rid of their leaders - just take a trip down memory lane and think about Johnson, Truss and even Margaret Thatcher.

All this is to say, Truss might be "going" - but out the door of Number 10.

While Truss cannot face a confidence vote for the first year of her leadership, there are reports that MPs are already getting their pens and paper out to the extent she could be pressured out anyway and they are arguing about multiple policy areas - including benefits.

Former culture secretary Nadine Dorries, who supported her in the leadership election, has even used her time out of ministerial office to tell just about everyone who will listen that Truss is veering away from the Tories' 2019 mandate and has suggested it's about time for a general election.

We all know that Johnson's MPs eventually had enough of him and duly ousted him, but that was after he was in power for three years, not three weeks...



5. She hasn't had her vaccine rollout

Say what you like about Johnson (and if you don't we will), but he was able to rally voters when it came to two big "achievements" - Brexit and the vaccine rollout. Yes, we don't like Brexit, yes he was slow to act on Covid in general, but it is hard to refute the sheer strength of his narrative - especially when he shouted it every single PMQs, until we could mouth along with him. He was, at times, a decent communicator.

Truss is trying to make her intervention in the energy crisis her Big Thing, but given bills are still soaring and other parts of her mini-budget have tanked the economy, it really isn't sticking and she is floundering.

Will Truss last? We're not sure about that one.

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