Liz Truss has emerged from last night’s BBC leadership debate in the driving seat, latest polls reveal.

According to a YouGov snap poll of 507 Conservative party members who watched the BBC debate, 50% thought that Truss performed the best. Yet only 39 per cent believe Sunak who gave the stronger performance.

The debate saw the candidates at each other’s throats. Sunak attacked Truss’ economic policies, warning that they could cause interest rates to increase massively. Truss, however, hit back, saying that Sunak was “scaremongering.”

A snap debate poll by Opinium of over 1000 regular voters put the two candidates neck and neck: Sunak took 39 per cent of the vote on who performed best, with Truss just one percentage point behind on 38 per cent.

Truss, however, leads amongst Tory voters, edging past Sunak on 41 per cent to his 38 per cent. Alternatively, with Labour voters, Sunak is by far the more popular of the two, taking 47 per cent of the vote, whereas Truss received only 30 per cent.

Despite his lead in polls of the general public, when it comes to Tory voters and members, Sunak continues to trail his competitor – and it is Tory members who will get the final say.

The bookies too are showing Truss to be the favourite to take the keys to Number 10, with PaddyPower giving Truss odds of 1/4, with Sunak only having 5/2 chance of victory.

Party members will get another chance to watch the two candidates go head-to-head again tonight at 6pm, as The Sun joins up with TalkTV to host a debate that will be streamed online.

The debate, to be hosted by The Sun’s political editor Harry Cole, and TalkTV’s political editor Kate McCann, will once again see the candidates face questions from a studio audience.

Off the debating floor, meanwhile, Truss burned bridges with her former co-author Dominic Raab, pointing that it was Raab who had written the section about “British idlers” in their jointly authored book, appearing keen to distance herself from the contents of this particular chapter. 

Raab, who is supporting Sunak’s bid for leadership, responded: “I’m afraid it’s Liz who needs to explain why she’s changed her view on [the dangers of debt for the economy and intergenerational unfairness],” which he described as a “fundamental conservative economic principle.”

With Raab’s future in the party hanging in the balance, there will be just one more spot in Truss’ cabinet that many will be hoping isn’t filled by Nadine Dorries.