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Theresa May: Thanks to Conservative MPs, we’ve all been stuck with lame duck for Christmas. And we’ll all be stuffed!

Theresa May – now a lame duck prime minister – hauled herself out onto the steps of 10 Downing Street to make a statement after winning a ‘confidence’ vote in her leadership, held by Conservative MPs.

It wasn’t convincing – but then, neither was her victory. She won by a margin of just 83 votes. Of those who voted for her, 139 were members of the government and were voting to keep themselves in higher-paying jobs. She had support from only around one-third of backbenchers.

And support for her Brexit deal in Parliament can be seen to stand at just 200 votes – although this may change, depending on the corruptibility of MPs’ opinions.

Here’s Graham Brady, announcing the result, followed by Mrs May’s statement:

So what have we learned from the vote? Consider the following:

1. Mrs May gained four votes fewer than Margaret Thatcher in 1990. Thatcher resigned, but May has said she is determined to continue*.

The vote shows fewer Tory backbenchers support Mrs May than supported John Major when he faced a confidence vote.

By the way, the ConservativeHome website conducted a snap survey of party members that revealed two-thirds of them want Mrs May replaced as leader:

2. She only won the votes she had by promising to resign before the next general election*, which suggests that far fewer Tory MPs have real confidence in her leadership than was demonstrated by the result of the ballot.

3. She restored the party whip to two MPs who had been suspended because of sexual misconduct – and allegations of the same. This shows she remains capable of huge failures of judgement.

4. Her Brexit deal is dead; she can only muster 200 votes for it, from among 650 MPs.

… Or is it? Remember, Tories are notorious for lying and going back on their claims. Mrs May has a little time with which to bribe her rebellious backbenchers.

On the other hand…

5. Brexiters in the Conservative Party are a bunch of hypocrites.

But this does not help Mrs May as they oppose her. Mr Rees-Mogg has already stated that he hopes Mrs May will resign:

6. She has given the Democratic Unionist Party another reason to ditch the ‘confidence and supply’ arrangement that keeps her government in office.

Add it all together and there’s only one conclusion possible:

7. Winning the confidence vote was the worst result Mrs May could have had.

It will be interesting to see if she does bring her deal back to Parliament next week.

If not, the result will be worse for her.

*I know: What Mrs May says and what she does are two separate things. We’ll have to see whether this is yet another of the lies for which this clergyman’s daughter has now become notorious.

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