Should the Tories call a no-confidence vote in Theresa May? This was the question we invited our readers and other Twitter followers to vote on.
The answer was a resounding Yes – by 90 per cent to 10 per cent, the latter advising caution.
Should Tory MPs call no confidence vote in May?
— The Conservative Woman (@TheConWom) July 10, 2018
It was a question we did not ask lightly nor, as is clear from the comment stream, that you answered lightly. For if a House of Commons vote of no confidence was tabled, and Mrs May won, her position and her BRINO approach to Brexit, and the Remainer hand, would all be strengthened.
However the chance of her winning without the support of the Labour side of the House, should Tory Brexiteers boldly take the opportunity to vote against her, is almost inconceivable. Equally inconceivable is that she could run a Government in hock to Labour parliamentary support. This would risk destroying the Conservative Party in the country.
Alternatively if Labour backed by the Brexiteers in Parliament led Mrs May to losing the confidence of the House, it would mean not just a Tory leadership contest (and who would win that?) but most likely a General Election. With Corbyn ahead in the polls, that means a reasonable, if not strong, chance of a Labour Government.
Either of these options, in the words of one commentator, would jeopardise everything that real conservatives and Brexit supporters have worked for.
Or would it?
Readers, like us, seem fed up to the back of their teeth with the politics of risk aversion that so far have guided Tory Brexiteer strategy – if you can call it that – at least until the late-in-the-day resignations of David Davis and Boris Johnson.
It’s their risk aversion that has kept the Parliamentary Conservative Party compliant and lent Mrs May her pseudo authority. At best it can be described as the art of the possible, and that’s a generous view of the BRINO-type deal Mrs May tried to foist on her Cabinet last weekend and is still trying to foist on us.
What so many of our readers clearly share with us is that doing nothing, sitting back and standing by as promises are successively and blatantly broken, is the coward’s route. It is what has allowed and will continue to allow the Brexit can to be kicked down the road indefinitely.
Wasn’t it such risk aversion that lay behind the policy of Nazi appeasement that characterised Neville Chamberlain’s pre-war government? There are times when principle has to trump risk in politics. This we believe is one.