A Analysis

Theresa May’s Leadership Challenge – A Vote of No Confidence, what happens?

This morning it was announced by Sir Graham Brady that there will be a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister, Theresa May's leadership of the Government. The vote is due to take place this evening with the result expected to surface around 9 pm. But what actually happens?

This evening between 6 pm and 8 pm, Conservative MPs will visit Committee Room 14 in Parliament to cast their vote on her leadership. It is a secret ballot, so MPs can pledge total loyalty to the Prime Minister while wielding the knife to oust her. This causes much speculation throughout the day and over the next couple of hours about the exact numbers of MP's who are supporting the Prime Minister. The vote was triggered because the threshold of 15 per cent of the Conservative Members of Parliament (48 MPs) wrote to Sir Graham Brady who chairs the 1922 Committee, requesting a vote on her leadership. There are 315 Conservative MPs in Parliament as of today, therefore providing they all vote the winning number required for the Prime Minister is 158.

If she doesn’t win a simple majority (50% +1), she would not be able to stand in the forthcoming leadership contest. That leadership contest would be conducted under the procedures of the Conservative Party as follows. Candidates for potential leadership must be nominated by a minimum of two conservative MPs. If only one candidate throws his/her hat in the ring they become the leader. However, this outcome is incredibly unlikely due to the current divisions in the Party over Brexit. The list of candidates will then be voted on in a number of rounds where the candidate with the least number of votes is ejected. This occurs until there are two candidates left. Whoever wins the final vote becomes the leader of the Conservative Party and the next Prime Minister.

Sir Graham would be responsible for overseeing the contest and setting a timetable for the campaign, which could last around 12 weeks, although Brexiteers believe this could be fast-tracked.

An interesting evening to come!