Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

No Confidence Vote

When you dig into the details of a no confidence vote, it's not textbook simple.

Theresa May Faces No-Confidence Vote as Brexit Looms
Under the party’s rules Mrs. May needs to win 158 votes from among the 315 Conservative members of Parliament to remain as party leader and therefore prime minister. If she does so, then party members cannot mount another challenge to her leadership for a year. If she lost the vote, then the party would choose another leader over the coming weeks, and Mrs. May would not be eligible to compete for the position…

[Graham Brady, the chairman of the backbench 1922 committee of Conservative lawmakers] told the BBC that he had informed Mrs. May about the 48 letters on Tuesday evening by phone. She will have the opportunity to address Conservative Party members before they cast their ballots, he said, adding that Mrs. May had pressed to hold the vote quickly because of the imminence of Thursday’s European Union summit meeting.

If she loses the confidence vote, Mrs. May could in theory remain as prime minister until a successor as Conservative Party leader were selected…

Significantly, Wednesday’s vote will be conducted by secret ballot, which suggests that protestations of loyalty, even from cabinet ministers who took to Twitter to state their support, cannot be taken at face value…

If a majority of Conservative lawmakers were to force her out, then in a round of ballots, they would narrow the candidates to succeed her down to two. The winner would then be chosen from those two contenders by the party’s members.

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