After GCHQ spies warned of a possible cyber attack, the Conservative leadership vote was delayed.
According to intelligence, the security service has discovered that the ballot results could be altered by using online interfaces and coding.
The warning message from the Conservative party reportedly said: “Your ballot is now on the way – but it will arrive with you a little later than we originally said. Don’t worry. This is because we have taken some time to add some additional security to our ballot process, which has delayed us”.
Initial plans were to allow members to choose whether to vote online or by mail. They could also cancel their vote by using the alternative method if they change their mind.
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However, the warning email stated that now, once a postal vote is received, the member’s online codes will be deactivated, removing the right to override the previous vote and therefore “reducing the risk of any fraud.”
All ballots were to be sent on Monday, but the party warns that they may not arrive until Tuesday 11ThAugust, given the circumstances. This includes postal ballots.
There is currently no evidence suggesting that cyber threats may be being posed from any specific country or opponent. This is a warning to all voters that the current voting process is at risk of being hacked. These attacks could potentially alter the results.
As it stands, Liz Truss still leads after Rishi Sunak’s advantage in the latest YouGov poll. It was released last night at the 2nd August.
The foreign secretary currently holds 69% of the headline vote, to Sunak’s 31%. Those figures stood at 62% and 38% respectively in YouGov’s previous poll on 20-21 July. She now has a 34-point advantage.
21% of Conservative party members weren’t sure how they would vote, or were committed to not voting at all, at the beginning of the member voting phase. Since then, that number has fallen to 13% and it seems like Truss has been a major recipient of previously undecided voters.
There was some speculation that Truss’s pay-cut policy ‘U-Turn’ yesterday would cause her to lose some support, but the poll suggests otherwise.