It appears that most Tory MPs are, at the time of writing, keeping their heads down on Twitter. The great majority haven’t tweeted a word since saying how honoured they are to have been re-elected.
But those floodgates won’t hold forever, and there are signs that some are following Anna Soubry’s lead and breaking cover to try to get out ahead with their interpretation of the result.
Johnny Mercer, who bucked the national trend to secure himself a healthy majority in previously-marginal Plymouth Moor View, went straight for the jugular, pinning the Party’s electoral setback on a move away from “modern, compassionate conservatism”.
Less direct was Stephen Crabb, the former Welsh Secretary and one-time leadership contender who barely held onto his own seat. He didn’t put an overtly political spin on it but opined that…
It’s telling that, like Soubry, the most critical MPs all seem to be attacking the Prime Minister from the left. Meanwhile right-wing, pro-Brexit MPs – of the sort she faced off against to win the leadership in the first place – are much more supportive:
It’s times like this that Theresa May’s lack of a base, or even a clear philosophical position, is telling. One Nation MPs feel alienated by her stances on Brexit and human rights even whilst her dismissive treatment of the free marketeers and libertarians stops her cultivating a constituency there.
As it stands, it looks as if Brexiteers are not keen for a precipitate leadership contest which may put a more determined Remainer in control of the party. Will they remain loyal if a plausible successor emerges who satisfies them on this issue?