After an extraordinary 24hrs at Westminster in which a total, as I write, of six ministers having resigned all the talk now is that Theresa May could soon be facing a confidence vote.
For this to happen it requires 48 different CON MPs to write to the chairman of the 1922 committee, Graham Brady, asking for such a move to take place.
Jacob Rees-Mogg has announced that he has sent a letter in and has indicated that he might support Priti Patel or Penny Mordaunt. Moggsy made clear though there was now nothing that the Prime Minister could do to change his mind that she wasn’t right for the job.
So we could be heading for a leadership contest but the first requirement is that a majority of Tory MPs participating in the ballot actually vote that they have no confidence in Mrs May.
That is far from certain. There is a big difference between getting the 48 letters in to trigger the ballot and securing the support of perhaps 155 MPs in order to ensure that the motion succeeds.
It would, however, clear the air.
The big Gamble the letter signers would be taking is that if Mrs May did survive that confidence vote then she would be guaranteed a full year before another challenge could be made. In the ensuing period, of course, Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29th.
My guess is that the PM would probably survive the VONC but it is nothing like as certain as it might have been a week or so ago.
If she was forced out Mrs. May would arguably be the fourth consecutive CON PM to have been brought down by the EU issue.