What happens if Boris Johnson loses the no confidence vote?
The UK Prime Minister is facing calls to resign after being found to have routinely broken his own covid-19 lockdown laws after months of denials.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to face a vote of no confidence later today after 54 members of his own party submitted letters calling for him to be removed.
The Conservative Party’s own guidelines dictate that a party leader should be subject to a vote on their future if 15% of their own MPs submit letters calling for a confidence vote. Currently, that threshold stands at 54 and on Monday Graham Brady, chair of the influential 1922 Committee, confirmed that he had received enough letters.
“In accordance with the rules, a ballot will be held between 1800 and 2000 today, Monday 6 June,” the statement read. “The votes will be counted immediately afterwards. An announcement will be made at a time to be advised.”
Johnson must receive the support of a simple majority of Tory MPs to stay in office, meaning he requires at least 180 votes to keep his position as Prime Minister. If he does, he will be safe from another vote of no confidence for one year.
What happens if Johnson received the vote of no confidence from his party?
Failure to receive 180 votes this evening would be a disaster for the Prime Minister and would see him removed as party leader, and therefore removed as leader of the UK government. However it would not trigger another general election and the Conservative Party, of which Johnson is currently the leader, would be able to select a new leader from within.
The UK constitution ensures that there must be a Prime Minister at all times, so Johnson would likely remain in place until his replacement is determined. When his predecessor Theresa May resigned, the process took two months.
Candidates for the role must come from the Parliamentary Conservative Party (members who currently hold office and sit in the House of Commons) and are whittled down to two in a series of votes among Tory MPs. Once that point has been reached, the two remaining candidates will be put to a vote among all members of the Conservative Party, and a winner will then be selected.
There is also the possibility that Johnson could immediately resign after the no confidence vote, which would see the role of Prime Minister passed to Dominic Raab, who is currently the Deputy Prime Minister, on an interim basis.
The vote itself will take place in a large committee room in the Palace of Westminster, with MPs placing folded ballots paper in a ballot box. The vote will take place this evening and a final announcement of the result is expected to follow tonight.