This finding comes from members of the same panel that backed the Prime Minister’s deal by 60 per cent to 36 per cent less than a week ago. Its a record high, by the way – see here.
Our take is that most Conservative MPs want her out of Downing Street as soon as possible.. That many of them want her out now. And that none of them have a clear idea of how this might be achieved.
Some Tory MPs are proposing indicative letters of no confidence to be sent to Graham Brady. (This fashion for indicative votes is catching on.)
But there is no agreement on how many would be required for him to ask her to quit, how any such process would be managed – and whether it is likely that she would resign if asked.
Nor is it easy to see how the Cabinet will force her out. Its members well might be able to do so were they to present a united front. But that’s extremely unlikely.
Some of them have their own leadership ambitions, and “he who wields the dagger never gains the crown” – or so it is said. And in any event, the Cabinet is riven by policy divides over how to proceed with Brexit.
Were the EU to force No Deal on a reluctant Government and Parliament, May might be able to cling on for a while. It would be hard to change Prime Minister and Party leader during such a major national event.
In the event of a further short extension – which the EU will be extremely reluctant to grant – she would probably be able to hang on, too, if only because it would leave no time for a full leadership election.
An irony of a long extension, which presumably would necessitate European Parliamenary elections here and a slump in the Conservative vote, is that it would offer that time for that election – and, therefore, would bring more pressure to bear on May to stand down.
If she goes as Party leader, would she also quit as Prime Minister? There is no reason why she should immediately. The smoothest course would be for her only to resign as the latter once a new Tory leader had been elected.