What will a no confidence vote mean for Boris Johnson's future?

The Prime Minister will face a vote of confidence by Tory MPs on Monday evening .

What will a no confidence vote mean for Boris Johnson’s future? Flickr

On Monday evening, Boris Johnson will face a vote of no confidence.

The vote was triggered after 54 Conservative MPs – 15% of the party – submitted letters to the backbench 1922 Committee.

It comes after months of speculation that a vote would take place in the wake of partygate, in which Johnson was found to have broken his own Covid lockdown rules.

Several Conservative MPs earlier this year called for Johnson to go after details of the scandal emerged.

Douglas Ross, the Scottish Conservative leader, was amongst those calling for the Prime Minister to resign, having said that his position was ‘untenable’.

But, Ross later withdrew his letter to the 1922 Committee, citing the need to focus efforts on supporting Ukraine following the invasion by Russia.

However, following the conclusion of the Metropolitan Police investigation into partygate, as well as the publication of the Sue Gray report, it is clear that several Conservatives have had enough of the Prime Minister.

So, what happens now? And what could this mean for Boris Johnson?

What is a vote of no confidence anyway?

A leadership challenge in the Conservative party that is triggered by at least 15% of its MPs writing to the 1922 Committee to state that they no longer have confidence in the Prime Minister.

With 359 Conservative MPs currently in Parliament, this means that the threshold – which has now been reached – is 54.

This was confirmed by the committee’s chairman, Sir Graham Brady, early on Monday morning.

And what happens now?

Conservative MPs will vote in a secret ballot as to whether Johnson should remain in office.

The Prime Minister can survive the vote if he secures a majority, and under current rules, would then be immune from another vote for a year.

If he loses, a leadership contest would take place in which he would not be allowed to stand.

However, it is extremely rare for Prime Ministers to lose a vote of no confidence.

Has this happened before?

Yes, there has been a number of Prime Ministers who have faced a confidence vote previously.

Theresa May faced a vote of no confidence as Prime Minister in December, 2018.

May won the vote by 200 to 117 and so was able to carry out in Number 10.

But, a vote of no confidence in a Prime Minister can ultimately prove to be fatal to their premiership.

It was just five months later, in May 2019, that May announced that she would be resigning as Prime Minister.

John Major and Margaret Thatcher also faced confidence votes, while Labour Prime Minister Jim Callaghan lost by a single vote in 1979.

So, will Boris Johnson be leaving No 10?

It’s unlikely that the Prime Minister will lose this confidence vote.

He has enough support within the party, with many already having publicly declared their confidence in him.

However, the fact that a confidence vote has been called at all will be a mark on Johnson’s record.

Partygate has proven damaging for both him and the party, and it remains to be seen whether he will still be in a position to lead the party into another general election.

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