June 30, 2022

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Boris Johnson’s vote of confidence worse than Theresa May’s vote of confidence

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Boris's future is on a knife's edge as he is worse than Theresa May in the vote of no confidence

Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote in 2018, but the result stunned her opponents (Picture: AFP / Reuters)

Boris Johnson’s future as prime minister is at a knife’s edge when he escaped Monday night’s no-confidence vote in a worse-case scenario than a few months before Theresa May was ousted.

Although he saw the challenge with 211 votes to the rebels’ 148, there was widespread speculation at Westminster that such an outcome would reduce his chances of seeing the Tories at the next general election.

His predecessor survived a leadership ballot in December 2018 with the support of 63% of Tory lawmakers, while 37% said they had no confidence in him.

In contrast, Tory MPs voted 59% in favor of Mr Johnson, while 41% opposed.

The vote began after 54 of his aides submitted no-confidence letters against the backdrop of the Partygate scam.

While the result means the PM is protected from another challenge for another 12 months, a relatively narrow victory could focus efforts to remove him before the next election in the country.

His approval rating has dropped drastically in recent months, standing at 26 as of May 5, and a ConservativeHome poll last week found he was the least popular cabinet member among Tory workers.

Ms May reportedly came to cast her vote in a ballgown on Monday night when Parliament stopped en route to the Platinum Jubilee dinner event.

Theresa May in a ball gown

Boris’s predecessor reportedly cast his vote wearing a ballgown (Picture: LNP)

She declined to explain how she planned to vote, but has done so before. Backtracking in criticism of Mr Johnson’s rule-breaking lockdown antics.

The result of his vote of confidence in December 2018 proved to be a major setback for his leadership, leading his opponents to believe that the effort to oust him could succeed.

When his first Brexit deal was lost the following month, Jeremy Corbyn introduced a parliament-wide no-confidence motion against the government, which was defeated by only 325 votes to 306.

A large number of Tory lawmakers openly conspired against the government in subsequent votes in their bid to renegotiate the deal in the following months.

He was eventually forced to step down in the summer of 2019 after a renewed effort to oust him from within the party following consecutive defeats on Brexit.

The result also means that Mr Johnson fared worse than John Major in his no-confidence motion in 1995, when a third of the party either voted against him, had his ballots scrapped or was absent.

This forced Mr Major into a major cabinet reshuffle, although he clinging to the party leadership until his resounding defeat by Tony Blair in 1997.

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