What is a no confidence vote? – The Sun

THE last Prime Minister to lose a vote of no confidence was James Callaghan, after it was tabled by the Conservative opposition led by Margaret Thatcher in 1979.

He was forced to hold a General Election and the Tories regained power. But what is a motion of no confidence, and who can put one forward?

What is a motion of no confidence?

Since the Fixed Term Parliament Act came into effect, there are now just two ways of expressing no confidence in the Government.

These are: Motions initiated by the Government, or motions initiated by the opposition.

Vote of no confidence by the Government

This is effectively a threat of dissolution by the government itself, which persuades backbench MPs to support a bill.

If the Government loses, a General Election could be triggered, but it's more likely to end in the resignation of the leader.

On December 12, 2018, Conservative MPs wrote to the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee expressing no confidence in then Prime Minister Theresa May.

48 MPs wrote letters expressing their desire for a vote of no confidence which triggered an anonymous ballot to decide their leader's fate.

May survived despite a third of MPs voting against her, though she resigned five months later on May 24, 2019.

On June 6, 2022, 1922 chair Sir Graham Brady announced that more than 54 Tory MPs had submitted letters of no confidence in Prime Minister Boris Johnson, triggering a secret ballot to decide the leader's fate.

2) Vote of no confidence by the Opposition

This involves a motion of no confidence being moved in the House of Commons by the Opposition, with the wording "that this House has no confidence in HM Government".

The backing of a majority of MPs would topple the Government – it only requires one more MP to vote in favour than against.

The Tories narrowly survived this type of challenge on the eve of January 16, 2019, after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn brought the motion in the wake of the trounced "meaningful vote".

Who can initiate a vote of confidence?

Under Tory party rules, a confidence vote is triggered if 15 per cent of its MPs write letters of no-confidence to the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee.

For Boris Johnson, this means 54 of the 360 Tory MPs, a threshold which has now been reached.

A vote of no confidence was set to be held the same day as the announcement on June 6, 2022, and Mr Johnson will be ousted if more than 50 per cent of Tory MPs vote against him.

He would then not be allowed to stand in the subsequent leadership contest, in which MPs would whittle down the field of contenders to two before party members had the final say.

The last confidence vote was held in December 2018 when, following months of speculation, enough MPs decided they no longer had confidence in the leadership of Teresa May.

She won the contest 200 votes to 117 – protecting her from another challenge for a year.

When is a General Election triggered from a vote of no confidence?

If a vote of no confidence is backed by a simple majority of MPs, the government will be toppled.

If a new government with the support of the Commons cannot be formed within two weeks, an early General Election is called.

It's one of only two ways in which an early General Election may be triggered under the terms of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011.

Only a no confidence motion tabled by the official leader of the opposition will automatically get allotted time for debate and a Commons vote.

It's up to the Government to decide whether to grant the motion from the smaller opposition parties – which is highly unlikely.

If the Prime Minister was to lose a vote of no confidence in the Commons it would trigger a General Election.



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