Boris survives no confidence vote – but what happens next?
148 of his own Tory MPs voted to try and oust him as leader
Last night, Boris Johnson took yet another major blow to his authority as 148 of his own Conservative MPs voted to try and oust him as leader. Although he won the vote of no confidence amongst Conservative MPs with 211 votes supporting him, the result was the worst in history for a Prime Minister in a vote of no confidence from their own party.
41 per cent of Tory MPs voted against Boris, with even Theresa May managing to do better when she faced a similar challenge to her leadership in 2018.
A no-doubt blissful, Theresa May also happened to cause a stir on Twitter last night by arriving to cast her vote on Boris in a “ball gown”.
The result means that for now, Boris Johnson can stay on as Prime Minister but in the past Tory leaders who’ve survived votes of no confidence by larger margins than Boris, such as May and Margaret Thatcher have soon found themselves out of power.
Boris Johnson has claimed his win was “decisive” and seems intent to stay on as long as he can. However, alongside a plummeting popularity rating and lagging behind Labour in the polls, he now faces a Tory party that is at war with itself. Last night, Boris loyalist, Nadine Dorries took to Twitter to publicly attack fellow Tory MP, Jeremy Hunt.
Current rules mean that Boris should be safe from another vote of no confidence for at least a year but there’s very little to stop Tory MPs from changing those rules if and when they wish, with some already planning to force another vote against him.
In the very near future, it’s likely that Boris will reshuffle his cabinet team to punish those that voted against him and reward those that have stood by him.
There are also two by-elections coming up this month in Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton. One was triggered after a Tory MP was caught watching porn in the House of Commons chamber and the other after a Tory MP was convicted of sexually assaulting a 15 year old.
If Boris lost both of those by-elections it would be the first time a government has lost two by-elections in one go since 1991.
Finally, there is still an inquiry into Partygate and whether he misled parliament which isn’t set to report its findings until October. If the inquiry finds him guilty, the report could then go to a vote in the House of Commons with the potential for him to be suspended from parliament.