Nearly a month after Boris Johnson resigned as Conservative party leader, members can finally vote for his successor. Ballot papers are dropping onto doormats of the party’s 160,000 members, representing a tiny 0.35 per cent of the electorate.

Members are encouraged to vote online, partially to prevent paper ballots being spoiled with scrawls of Boris Johnson’s name (yes, a quarter of members want him on the ballot). Some members may receive a duplicate vote, allowing them to change their minds during the campaign.

The contest appears over. A YouGov poll last month gave a 24-point lead to Liz Truss, who has secured the endorsements of Tom TugendhatBrandon Lewis, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi . The endorsees are perhaps recognising the winds of change are in Truss’ direction.

Truss’ most striking endorsement came yesterday in Exeter, where she was introduced by one-time rival,  Penny Mordaunt. Truss’ former leadership rival endorsed her as the “hope candidate”, citing her “graft, her authenticity, her determination, her ambition for this country, her consistency and sense of duty”. It’s a far cry from accusations of briefing wars which were flying about only a few weeks ago. The prospect of a high-ranking Cabinet role may have been too good to resist.

Any future endorsements could prove pivotal. Michael Gove, a veteran of leadership elections, has kept his powder dry. His preferred candidate, Kemi Badenoch, has not come out for anyone, telling her supporters to “follow your heart”.

The battle between heads and hearts lasts another month. The result may appear game, set and match to Truss.

But polling guru Sir John Curtice argues that the race could be much closer than it looks. Truss is far from invincible. This lunchtime she performed a screeching U-turn, scrapping a plan to link public sector pay to local living costs. The tide could yet turn. It’s all to play for.