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May faces no confidence vote after record defeat on Brexit deal

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Theresa May has just over 12 hours to save her premiership, as she faces a vote of “no confidence” which, if successful, could topple the government.

The prime minister will look to her own MPs to back her, after over a third of them voted down her Brexit deal in the biggest Commons defeat in nearly a century.

She tried to head off the bid to oust her by welcoming the no confidence vote before it had even been tabled by Jeremy Corbyn.

Prime Minister Theresa May
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Theresa May tried to head off the no confidence motion

But the Labour leader’s bid will be debated for around six hours in the Commons on Wednesday, culminating in another dramatic vote at around 7pm.

The motion they will decide on is: “That this house has no confidence in Her Majesty’s government.”

House of Commons. Pic: UK Parliament/Mark Duffy
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Tory backbenchers and the DUP are expected to back her. Pic: UK Parliament/Mark Duffy

It is likely to fail – with multiple Tory Brexiteer rebels confirming to Sky News that they will support the prime minister.

The Democratic Unionist Party, who Mrs May relies on to get votes through parliament, have confirmed to Sky News they will also back her.

But if successful, Mrs May’s government would fall.

A countdown then kicks in of 14 days, within which a new government can be formed using the current parliamentary arithmetic.

If none is successful, a general election is triggered.

Mrs May could attempt to cling on and form a new administration, or step down and try to install a new Conservative leader before the deadline.

Mr Corbyn could also attempt to form a new government.

But under both scenarios, using the parties’ current numbers of MPs that looks challenging.

One Tory MP said they “know of no Brexiteer” who will vote against the prime minister and predicts she will win “fine”.

But Mr Corbyn argues Mrs May must “step-aside” to let Labour take control of the Brexit negotiations.

Meanwhile, a Sky Data Poll has found that 53% of people think MPs should not vote to bring down the government and 38% said MPs should vote to bring down the government.

Some 61% said the UK was now in a state of crisis.

Sky Data interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1,203 Sky customers by SMS after 8pm on 15 January 2019. Data are weighted to the profile of the population. Sky Data is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

For full Sky Data tables, please click here.

:: Follow and watch the confidence vote live with a special programme on Sky News from 6-9pm on Wednesday

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