Tense night for the Toties. | Reuters

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson survived a punishing vote of no confidence by his fellow Conservative Party lawmakers this evening, prevailing despite anger over lockdown-breaking parties at Downing Street and overall discontent with his leadership, which one former ally branded a “charade.”

Johnson won the party-only secret balloting by 211 to 148 — surpassing the simple majority of 180 votes he needed.


Still, the vote was remarkably close for a prime minister who helped the Conservatives win a landslide election in 2019. Johnson’s salvation may be the lack of an obvious successor within his party.
Though Johnson can now fight another day, he is a wounded leader. He and the Conservatives will struggle to rebuild their brand in the face of soaring inflation and diminished public trust.

Surviving a no-confidence vote under the current rules insulates Johnson from additional party challenges for a year. But those rules can be changed.

Looming over today’s vote was the recollection that Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, beat a no-confidence challenge over her failed Brexit deal in 2018, only to be forced to resign the next year.