Theresa May: Vote of no confidence explained

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As if British politics hasn’t been as draining, dreadful and dramatic enough this year, it’s about to get even bigger.

On Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Theresa May will face a vote of no confidence regarding her leadership. The vote comes after months of criticism and demands for her to resign, but this will be the deciding factor.

So, in anticipation of this to be historic event, here’s my brief explanation of the situation and what could happen next.


What is a vote of no confidence?

It speaks for itself really. In politics, if a party doesn’t have confidence in their leader, they can trigger a vote of no confidence.

If the leader wins the vote it means that they do have the majority confidence from their party, and will carry on as leader. This is what happened with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, after he passed a vote of no confidence in 2016.

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However if they lose it, they don’t have the confidence of the party and are ultimately forced to resign.

May needs the majority vote, which means she needs 158 or more MPs to vote in confidence of her.


Why is it happening?

Theresa May has been under huge criticism for Brexit, as she is struggling to keep everything together.

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To trigger the vote, 15% of Conservative MPs (Members of Parliament), which is at least 48 MPs, had to send a letter of no confidence to the chair of the Conservative party.


When is it happening?

Tory MPs will vote between 6pm and 8pm GMT on Wednesday 12th December, as they hold a secret ballot at the House of Commons. We will know the result very soon after, likely by the end of the evening.


What does this mean for Theresa May?

It ultimately decides her future as well as ours.

If she passes the vote of no confidence she will remain Prime Minister, and her leadership cannot be challenged for 12 months.

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However if Theresa May loses Wednesday’s vote then she will be forced out as prime minister. She will be duly replaced, whether it is through a leadership contest or a general election.


Who else would be Prime Minister?

The Conservative party would have to elect a new leader and therefore a new prime minister.

The main names in contention are Boris Johnson are Jacob Rees-Mogg, with Sajid Javid and Amber Rudd also rumoured to be May’s successor.

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Jacob Rees-Mogg (L) and Boris Johnson (R).

My opinion

Either way, we are screwed. If May wins, she is in charge for at least another year and will continue to try and deal with Brexit. If May loses then we have a new Prime Minister, and frankly I can’t stand Johnson or Rees-Mogg.

I believe that we can’t win in this situation, and we just have to accept the result. One thing I know for sure is that Wednesday’s vote will be a huge moment in Theresa May’s career, and it could be a historic moment in the history of Brexit and the United Kingdom.

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