UK PM Wins No Confidence Vote; Loses Support of 40% of MPs

Photo: AP [via The Washington Post]

The Facts

  • UK PM Boris Johnson has won a confidence vote in his leadership, called on Mon., securing support from 211 of his MPs. However, 148 (over 40%) voted to oust him.

  • The margin of his victory has raised questions among many as to whether he can survive such a significant rebellion longer-term. His predecessor Theresa May won a confidence vote in Dec. 2018 with the backing of more than 60% of Tory MPs but ended up resigning five months later.

The Spin

Left narrative

Despite surviving this vote, Johnson won't be able to outrun the fact that the Conservative Party has suffered a head-on collision with public opinion. He has made everyone unhappy by failing to adhere to traditional, Thatcherite Conservatism while continuing to implement cruel austerity. He deserves an undignified end but, as always, ordinary people will be the ones to suffer from his incompetence.

Right narrative

This vote has left Johnson wounded and prompted a second civil war in the Conservative Party in four years - Conservative MPs have risked posing more damage to the Party than if they had united behind Johnson despite waning popularity. He can regain support, but he must bring his MPs together under an agreed strategy of traditional conservative values.

Narrative C

Now is not the right or responsible time for Johnson to go. The UK and the rest of Europe face an international crisis over Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Though a change of leader would maybe be appropriate under normal circumstances, the UK can't risk appointing a lame-duck PM at such a grave moment.

Nerd narrative

There is a 50% chance that Boris Johnson will be Prime Minister of the UK on January 1, 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Political split



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