After PMQs, her spokesman told Lobby hacks that “She does not believe that this vote today is about who leads the party into the next election. It is about whether it is sensible to change leader now.’” The spokesman declined to specify a departure date, so no time limited backstop here either. What makes Tory MPs shudder is the thought that she won’t stand down before the next election due in 2022. Downing Street’s advisers know this and it is a matter of necessity for her survival that she reassures MPs tonight at the meeting of the 1922 Committee that she won’t fight another general election campaign as leader.
This however is not the same as quitting before a snap election called next month and doesn’t rule her out from fighting a second referendum. The nightmare scenario if Theresa May wins today is that the DUP will not support the government. So no government business will get done if it requires a vote in House of Commons. It is not impossible that when hard line Brexiteers realise that she’s sold them out completely, they and the DUP could abstain on a “No Confidence” vote in Parliament and cause a general election. With May still party leader the Tories could be headed for electoral disaster. Nigel Farage will be ready with his new party, ready to siphon off a large chunk of Tory Leave voters. Farage will be waiting for the vote today to confirm her in post before he decides to fire the starting pistol on a new UKIP-like party which will cost Tory MPs their seats. This is the horror show Tory MPs will vote for in preference to a fresh start and at least the chance of change.
Even if May survives, it does not change the fundamental issue that her deal is nowhere near getting through Parliament. If she can’t keep the confidence of the Commons, Tory MPs could yet be stuck with her as leader for a snap election despite her pledge to stand down pic.twitter.com/En9ji2vNr2
— Hugh Bennett (@HughRBennett) December 12, 2018