What time is the Tory leadership TV debate tonight? When to watch Rishi Sunak vs Liz Truss live on BBC One

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Tory leadership candidates are set to have their first TV debate tonight in a bid to convince supporters of the part why they should become its next leader.

The pair will appear in front of a live audience of about 100 people after clashing over the weekend over their pledges on immigration, China and tax cuts.

Mr Sunak will be keen to narrow the gap between him and the Foreign Secretary who has edge ahead of him as favourite to be the next PM.

The debate could be a the last opportunity for the pair to stake their claim to be next leader of the country before 160,000 Tory members vote when ballot papers arrive next week.

Although leadership hustings will be taking place around the country in the coming week, many members won’t get chance to meet candidates and be told first-hand about their planned policies.

As the crucial debate get nearer to airing, i takes a look at how you can watch it, what time it’s on and what it is likely to include.

When will the debate be aired?

The Our Next Prime Minister debate will take place on Monday night and will be aired at 9pm on BBC 1.

The debate presented by Sophie Raworth takes place in Stoke-on-Trent, which has been chosen because it is one of the many constituencies won by the Conservatives for the first time at the last general election in 2019.

Stoke has also been selected by the BBC because it it is thought it could be a good measure of whether the candidates can hold on to those seats won when Boris Johnson was leader.

Jonathan Munro, the interim director of BBC News and Current Affairs, said: “We’re delighted to be offering BBC audiences the chance to be part of this pivotal moment in politics and hear, first hand, from the final two candidates as they compete to succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister.”

Why is the debate so important?

The first TV debate will be crucial to endear themselves to potential supporters.

While Tory grassroots are given the power to vote for their next leader, the candidates perception by the public could sway the race.

Leading pollsters will quiz the wider electorate on how the contestants performed and who their preferential candidate to be next prime minister is.

Poll results will have an influence on party members, with both Truss and Sunak hoping they will secure them support from the party.

A Tory MP told the BBC: “It is so important. Every party member will see the debate, hear reports about it, clips from it, or be left with some sense of who won it.”

More from Politics

How the polls currently stand?

Ms Truss is the early frontrunner, but Mr Sunak topped the earlier vote among Tory MPs.

Polls and surveys of Tory party members suggest Mrs Truss, is well ahead of Mr Sunak.

A YouGov poll of Tory members carried out on 20-21 July showed 31 per cent of the membership intend to vote for Rishi Sunak, while 49 per cent intend to vote for Liz Truss.

A further 15 per cent currently don’t know how they will vote, and six per cent said they will abstain.

This puts the headline voting intention at 62 per cent for Ms Truss and 38 per cent for Mr Sunak, excluding the people who are currently unsure or won’t vote.

Surveys by ConservativeHome have claimed Ms Truss as having a considerable lead over Mr Sunak.

Truss is believed to have emerged as favourite in the race as she is considered a candidate to bring change.

While Mr Sunak, who served as Boris Johnson’s chancellor before quitting, is thought to be less favoured as it’s thought he would continue policies introduced by Boris Johnson’s government

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