TORIES have begun calling for a General Election – despite the predicted wipe-out it would mean for their party – with Rishi Sunak expected to be crowned prime minister.

The former chancellor is the run-away leader in the race to replace Liz Truss in No10, with around six times more MPs backing him than his rival Penny Mordaunt.

If Mordaunt is unable to secure 100 supporters by 2pm – she currently has 30 – then Sunak will automatically become Tory leader without a vote being put to members.

The news has been greeted with rage by supporters of Boris Johnson, who pulled out of the race on Sunday evening without ever having formally entered it.

Nadine Dorries, a Johnson loyalist who has previously called on Liz Truss to hold a General Election, has called the UK a “banana republic”.

The former Culture Secretary approvingly shared a tweet that read: “So the new Prime Minister of the UK is almost certainly the bloke who lost to Liz Truss in a vote by his own party members. But she quit after 45 days, a few MPs then nominated him, but his party members and general public didn’t get to vote. Banana republic ‘democracy’.”

She added elsewhere that now Johnson has dropped out of the race, it would be “impossible to avoid” a General Election.

And she told LBC on Sunday night: "If Rishi [Sunak] becomes prime minister automatically by Tuesday I think all hell will break loose. He has no mandate whatsoever to be prime minister of this country."

Zac Goldsmith, a Tory peer and minister and a close friend of Johnson, said that a Westminster election was “morally unavoidable”.

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He wrote: “I don’t see how we can have a 3rd new Prime Minister – and a policy programme that is miles away from the original manifesto – without going to the country.

Conservative MPs understandably won’t want to and are legally not obliged to, but it will be morally unavoidable.”

Christopher Chope (below), the Conservative MP for Christchurch, said his party is “ungovernable” and a General Election is “the only answer”.

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Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said: “If people who are now seeking the crown want to have the respect which comes from having a mandate, then what I’m saying is that the best way they can get that respect is by winning a mandate with the people.

"That’s why I think a General Election is essentially the only answer, otherwise we’re just going to go from bad to worse.

“The party is ungovernable in the House of Commons and so we’re going to have continuing rebellions as we try to change policies and so on, and so I must say I’m very pessimistic, I’m very angry, and I feel that Boris has been let down once again and undermined by our parliamentary colleagues.”

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Labour, the SNP, the LibDems, and the Scottish Greens have joined together in calling for a General Election, with a YouGov poll suggesting 63% of the public want one.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said previously: “The risk is not a General Election. The risk is continuing with this chaos.”

Mordaunt backer Andrea Leadsom insisted that there was "no prospect" of an early General Election if the current leader of the House of Commons were to become prime minister.

Although Sunak is expected to be crowned on Monday afternoon without a vote of the party membership, neither his nor Mordaunt’s team is calling the race just yet.

Mordaunt’s team have insisted that she has the support of 100 MPs and that it will go to a membership vote.

Sunak backer Grant Shapps said “nothing is being taken for granted” by his side, even as big names such as Michael Gove, Priti Patel, and Foreign Secretary James Cleverly have come out in support.

Asked on Sky News if it wasn't time for a General Election, Shapps claimed that he "hadn't changed" since he was elected in 2019 and that was the case "in 650 constituencies around the country".

He said it was "unusual" to have so many prime ministers in such a short period of time, but insisted that there was no need for another election as Sunak would honour the 2019 manifesto.

If an election were to be held, polling has suggested that Labour will win a landslide.