May beats back a leadership no confidence vote 200-117 and the reaction is mixed. That’s one more vote than she got to ascend in the first place (from a larger parliamentary party). She’s now immune to a leadership challenge for a year (though her government could face a vote of no confidence).
It was a weird thing. It gave us very little new information either about the preferences of the Tory MPs or about what will happen next.
I mean that a third of the MPs would vote against the PM is, in normal times, rather surprising but it’s not like it hasn’t been clear that a big chunk of the MPs dislike her and her direction. The main reason the earlier threats didn’t materialize is the correct calculation that the Tories literally have no alternative. There are plenty who would like to take over but they are clearly far far worse than May in basic competence.
I think Jacob Rees-Mogg miscalculated. This seems more design to give her the defeat she avoided by posponing the deal vote. And who knows, maybe he’ll win the spin war. But substantively, he wasn’t remotely close.
Moreover, it was an even worse look for the Tories (and given that we’re in a month that saw the government found in contempt and a last minute critical vote delay, that’s saying something). I’m not sure why May is acting so wimpy: it would seem that going on the offensive against these schmoes would be wise. Of course, they could cause her government to fall but so what? The gain is worth the risk. Attack these guys as fantasists and saboteurs. It has the advantage of being true and it might weaken them enough that she could make some sort of progress.
The Brexit brigade really needs to be destroyed. Like the Republicans, they are complete lying vandals. Unfortunately, they are secure enough right now that they can keep wrecking for quite some time.
All the more reason to take them on instead of fruitlessly trying to win them over.