Moggsy’s failed confidence move gives her 12 months immunity
On the day of this month’s confidence vote amongst Tory MPs on Theresa May the PM declared that it was her intention not to lead the party into the next general election. If we stick with the Fixed Term Parliament Act timetable that means any time before the spring of 2022.
That might have helped her in fending off Moggsy’s ill-judged move which also provided her with the additional bonus that under current Tory rules she is now immune from facing another confidence move until December next year.
I have seen nothing that suggests that she is thinking of departing during 2019 even if the Brexit deal goes through and the UK leaves the EU as planned on March 29th. She appears to want to stay and she’s helped by there being no obvious successor.
What that exercise taught us is that it is very difficult removing a PM who is determined to hang on.
Yesterday the Sunday Times was reporting suggestions that she would like to continue until maybe a year or so before the next general election when she would step aside. The hope is to create opportunities in her cabinet for some new blood and potential successors.
All this makes the 68% Betfair betting exchange price on her going in 2019 as something of a bargain for a lay bet (wagering that it won’t happen). We have seen that amazing fortitude and resilience battling on when everything seems against her. I find it hard to envisage her going quietly after Brexit as many within the Conservative Party appeared to be hoping for.
There’s another factor which my guess is impacting on her thinking – she doesn’t want former Foreign Secretary, Mr Johnson, to succeed her. The longer she say stays, you can see her reasoning, the worse his prospects become.
I’m on with Betfair wagering that she’ll still be there at the end of 2019 laying next year as her exit date at 1.48.