Against all predictions, the Conservative leadership race has become more interesting. It has deviated significantly from the pattern it was supposed to follow. According to conventional wisdom, once the race had been narrowed down to Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, the two contenders would proceed on tramlines, in a clearly defined trajectory.

Accepting that Sunak had a clear lead among MPs, once the parliamentary electorate had retired from the contest it was foreseen that he would be transformed from clear favourite to underdog as the second tranche of campaigning began, due to Liz Truss’s greater popularity among the party membership.