LIZ Truss has won the race to take over from Boris Johnson and become the next UK prime minister.

The new Tory leader beat her final opponent in the contest – former chancellor Rishi Sunak – by 81,326 votes to 60,399.

The result means Truss won 57% of the vote to Sunak's 43%, a less convincing victory than when Johnson won 66% of the vote against Jeremy Hunt in 2019.

The result was closer than had been anticipated, and will raise questions about whether Truss can unite a divided Conservative Party.

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Graham Brady, the chair of the backbench 1922 committee, said that there had been 172,437 Tory Party members who were eligible to vote. The turnout was 82.6%, while 654 ballots were rejected.

The contest was decided by Tory Party members after MPs whittled down the field of candidates to just two

Sunak lost despite having enjoyed stronger support among MPs than Truss did (by 137 to 113).

On Tuesday, Truss will head to the Queen’s private residence of Balmoral, in Aberdeenshire, to be officially appointed prime minister.

Johnson will also be expected to attend in order to hand his resignation to the monarch.

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He had tried to hang on as prime minister despite a record-breaking slew of departures from his government, precipitated by the resignations of former health secretary Sajid Javid and former chancellor Sunak in early July. 

Johnson was ultimately forced to step down – but refused to do so until his replacement had been selected.

Truss will take over from September 6, two months since Johnson announced he would be stepping down

Once she is in No 10, the new prime minister has promised to work on the skyrocketing cost of energy within one week. 

Last month, Ofgem confirmed the price cap would soar by more than 80% from £1971 to £3549 from October 1.

There have been suggestions that Truss could intervene to freeze energy bills at their current level.

She will also be looking to quell support for Scottish independence, with reports suggesting that a referendum bill could be brought in.

Truss's aim would reportedly be to change the rules so that 50% of the entire electorate, not simply the people who turn out to vote, would need to support independence for it to pass.

The plans have been slammed as an "undemocratic ruse" by the SNP's Tommy Sheppard.

"It effectively means everyone who is sick or who is somehow unable to participate, it is being assumed their view is supporting the Union," he said.