Tory MPs Trigger a Vote of No Confidence: Did May Spring a Trap on Them?

At least 48 Tory MPs (15% minimum) filed letters of no confidence in Theresa May. A Tory-only secret ballot is next.

The Guardian reports Brexit in Chaos as Tory MPs Trigger Vote of No Confidence in Theresa May.

Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee, has received at least 48 letters from Conservative MPs calling for a vote of no confidence in May. Under party rules, a contest is triggered if 15% of Conservative MPs write to the chair of the committee of Tory backbenchers.

A ballot will be held on Wednesday evening between 6pm and 8pm, Brady said, with votes counted “immediately afterwards and an announcement will be made as soon as possible”.

The prime minister will now need the backing of at least 158 Tory MPs to see off the Brexiters’ challenge, and her position would then be safe for 12 months. However, the prime minister could decide to resign if votes against her were below the threshold to topple her, but significant enough in number.

The Financial Times reports May Vows to Fight Confidence vote “With Everything I Have Got”.

“Weeks spent tearing ourselves apart will only create more division just as we should be pulling together to serve our country,” she said in a 8.45am press statement.

Meanwhile, It's entirely possible this is precisely what May wants. Here are some thoughts I penned Monday but did not publish in expectation of this announcement. First here are two key rules.

Leadership Challenge vs Opposition Vote of No Confidence

  • A leadership challenge can only come from the Tories and only they vote. If May was ousted, the Tories would get to elect a replacement. But such a challenge can only happen once a year.
  • The opposition party can trigger a motion of no confidence. Everyone votes. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was reluctant to call such a vote out of fear of strengthening May's hand if he lost.

The Tories may have fallen into a trap. These points will explain.

Potential Trap

  1. It was to May’s advantage to trigger a leadership challenge ASAP because it keeps her options open while closing the door for another year on a leadership challenge. A leadership challenge was coming. I am convinced May wanted it sooner rather than later. She got it.
  2. If May survives the challenge, by even one vote, Tories cannot hold another leadership confidence vote for a year, no matter what foolish thing she does.
  3. Corbyn had been hesitant to call for a parliament-wide motion of no confidence out of fear he loses. Instead, he clings to the notion May will be forced to resign.
  4. If May survives the Tory challenge, she would even be free to threaten to resign or call new elections unless the Tories back her preposterous deal.
  5. If we got to point four, the Tories would then either have to vote for her deal or risk elections. Labour is leading in the polls.
  6. May’s problem is the DUP. They may dump her triggering elections at any point.
  7. The DUP’s problem, if they do not do along with May, is the possibility a hard border.
  8. In the end, I think May is counting on points 7 and 5. But first she had to sucker a leadership challenge out of the Tories, which she just did.

Trap Sprung?

Parading around Europe looking like a fool may have been a setup. The same applies with promising a vote on the agreement and not delivering one.

It's possible this all happened with May not thinking about such a setup, but I doubt it.

Everything I've Got

May seems like a desperate badger trapped in a corner. "Everything I've got" may very well be the scenario I outlined above.

If it was a trap, it could of course backfire on May as early as Wednesday evening. But desperate people do desperate things.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments
No. 1-12
Christian dk
Christian dk

Good bye empire, no matter what happens. The banking city of London will be drained off by big money and the rich and a trade war with the Eu will erupt, i.e NO german cars, french wine and cheap polish labour, pushing Europe back into recession and a DEFAULT of the L:M:B:A.

Even Soro,s must see the arbitrage in going long gold/silver and shorting the £.gbp Ha HA the British pound sterling `= the fraud of the century. ( 1 British pound Sterling was originally 1 pound of sterling silver at 90 % purity, that being 14 troy ounces of silver.) 14 x 14 $ = 196 us$. So IS paper real money ?. Take it like a man, the Empire is over, do the hard Brexit and go back to the good old days.

Quatloo
Quatloo

So what is the plan now--she keeps working to get Parliament to pass her Brexit bill with no changes? This is madness...

JL1
JL1

Incredible that 200 Tory Mp's are so daft as to want May, who has shown herself to be completely incompetent negotiator, to continue negotiating with EU while EU says there will be NO chances to the dreadful Brexit deal May negotiated.

Sign of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result...

JL1
JL1

Here are the results.

For May: 200

Against May: 117

Quatloo
Quatloo

May just won the vote...