Theresa May (pictured outside No10 today) won a battle for her political survival today
political survival tonight as
In a secret ballot, 200 Conservative MPs declared their confidence in the Prime Minister but 117 voted against her.
The result, which was read out to applause in Committee Room 14 of the Houses of Parliament shortly after 9pm, means she cannot face a Tory leadership contest for another 12 months.
She will stay on as Tory leader and Prime Minister to finish the
Why did Theresa May face a confidence vote?
The contest was triggered because at least 48 Tory MPs have sent letters of no confidence to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee – the body which represents Tory MPs.
Sir Graham is obliged to call a vote if 15 per cent of Tory MPs write to him calling for one – currently 48 MPs.
What did Theresa May do today?
The PM has scrapped her plans to fly to Dublin for Brexit talks with the irish PM Leo Varadkar.
Instead she stayed in Westminster to plead with her Tory colleagues to back her in today’s vote.
She addressed the 1922 Committee of Tory MPs at 5pm to lay out her bid to stay on as their leader.
How did today’s vote take place?
The confidence vote was held between 6pm and 8pm. Tory MPs voted by casting their secret ballots in a box which was placed in Committee Room 14 in Parliament, and could only vote for those two hours.
What was the threshold for victory?
There were 315 Tory MPs eligible to vote, and the PM needed a simple majority to stay on as leader – meaning 158 was the magic number.
What happens now she has won?
Theresa May cannot face a fresh challenge from within the Tory party for another 12 months – meaning that she can stay on and finish Brexit.
Mrs May vowed to stay on as leader if she won tonight’s vote by just one.
Her critics on the Tory backbenches warned if 80 or more MPs voted against her, her position as PM would become untenable. In fact 117 did.
What would have happened if Theresa May had lost?
If Theresa May lost she would have had to resign as Conservative party leader and would have been barred from standing for the leadership contest.
She would have had to stay on as Prime Minister while Tory MPs decided who her successor would be.
She faced the prospect of being defeated tonight but having to travel to Brussels tomorrow for a crunch EU summit where Brexit is on the agenda.
Or she could have quit immediately and handed over to a caretaker leader – with her de facto deputy David Lidington tipped to be the man to fulfill this role.
Sir Graham Brady (pictured in Westminster today) chairman of the 1922 Committee which represents Tory MPs, this morning announced that a confidence vote would be held which she won 200 votes to 117