The large second got here virtually immediately because the referee for the night time Julie Etchingham threw within the query of what every candidate would do about the price of residing disaster gripping so many households on this nation.
The clearest reply got here from Ms Truss who began laying out tax cuts she would usher in instantly to the apparent disgust of the person who till lately was Chancellor.
And it was then that Mr Sunak apparently determined that he wanted to rewrite the e-book on what Conservatism truly means.
He described tax cuts now as “one thing for nothing economics that isn’t Conservative, it’s socialism.”
If any Conservative members have been watching on a scorching Sunday night, fairly a number of at that time should have been reaching for a powerful beverage to calm their nerves.
Ms Truss hit again stating that Sunak’s insurance policies have been creating huge inflation and failing to assist individuals.
Later she pointedly described herself as a “straight speaking Yorkshire girl” and stated that’s the reason she felt so uneasy with breaking the manifesto promise about not elevating Nationwide Insurance coverage which Sunak drove by means of.
Considerably, Truss additionally led the way in which in suggesting she would “not enable enterprise as standard” with the Financial institution of England after it had didn’t cease inflation.
Sunak was horrified and stated so.
However the International Secretary left Sunak poleaxed as she defined her “political journey”.
“I went to a complete faculty the place kids didn’t have some great benefits of the varsity you went to, Rishi.”
Sunak in fact went to considered one of Britain’s poshest colleges, Winchester.
She then stated that it was that have and the need to make life higher for youngsters who had her background “that made me a Conservative.”
If that was not a clarion name to the Pink Wall, working class Conservative vote, nothing was.
Going into tonight, three points wanted to be resolved.
First, would Sunak stay the outright frontrunner and sophistication performer which he appeared to be following Friday’s debate on Channel 4.
Second, would Truss come to life from a flat marketing campaign and set out sufficient of a case for the correct of the occasion to maneuver her into second place towards Mordaunt.
Third, and maybe most significantly, would the shock sensation of this contest Badenoch knock it out of the park to blow aside the Truss and Mordaunt campaigns?
The reply is that Sunak is now the person to beat however after tonight’s efficiency he will likely be eminently beatable by anyone with a Conservative tax chopping platform.
Truss’s Thatcher-like look and gritty efficiency may very well be sufficient to push her now into second place – “I’m not the slickest performer however I get issues accomplished.”
She regarded just like the skilled grownup within the room though Mordaunt additionally managed to place in some traces which provided a wider enchantment.
Badenoch had a pleasant put down of Tugendhat “not being on the entrance line” however each of them have been spectators for an excessive amount of of the competition.
On the idea of tonight it seems just like the Truss versus Sunak present may very well be a summer time lengthy extravaganza the place the precise nature of Conservatism is itself up for grabs.