Boris Johnson Learns His Fate

He narrowly survived no-confidence vote
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2022 3:36 PM CDT
Boris Johnson Learns His Fate
Protesters calling for the removal of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Monday, June 6, 2022.   (AP Photo/David Cliff)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson survived a vote of no confidence in his leadership Monday—but the margin of victory was far too close for comfort and analysts believe the mutiny could still mark the beginning of the end of his leadership. The final vote among Conservative members of Parliament was 211 in favor of keeping Johnson as leader versus 148 who expressed no confidence in his leadership, the Guardian reports. If Johnson had received fewer than 180 votes from the party's 359 MPs, it would have triggered an election for a new Conservative party leader to succeed Johnson as prime minister.

With Johnson already weakened by the "Partygate" scandal, it's not clear how long he will able to survive as party leader now that just over 40% of his own MPs have voted against his leadership. The Telegraph notes that previous Conservative prime ministers Margaret Thatcher and Teresa May—Johnson's predecessor—ended up leaving office within months of surviving no-confidence votes by larger margins than Johnson received Monday. The vote was triggered after 54 rebel MPs submitted letters of no confidence. Under current rules, another such vote can't be held for at least a year.

"An arithmetic win for Boris Johnson—but boy, look at those numbers," says Chris Mason at the BBC. "The result is at the upper end of the expectations of the rebels, who never expected to win, They will see this as losing the battle, but the war to replace him goes on." Before the vote, Johnson promised lawmakers that he would lead them to another election victory in 2024, the AP reports. "Tonight we have a chance to end the media-driven focus on the leadership of the Conservative Party," he said. (Read more Boris Johnson stories.)

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