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School of Politics and International Relations

Professor Tim Bale, Tory rebels may hit magic number but May remains their best bet


The Conservative party rules mean that the only way to trigger a contest – unless the Prime Minister herself steps aside – is for 48 MPs to send letters to Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs. If the total is reached, it triggers a vote on confidence in Theresa May – and to win that, the European Research Group (ERG) would need to hit the much more challenging target of 158 MPs. Professor Tim Bale said: “The numbers are there for anyone to see, and that gap looks too far to bridge for the ERG. At the moment, it looks as though she’s pretty safe.” He added: “The timetable in most MPs’ heads seems to be that we get some kind of agreement, we leave in March, and she steps aside then.”
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