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May’s Time Is Almost Up

Theresa May isn’t gone yet, but as Fraser Nelson explains it is just a matter of time until she is replaced:

So Theresa May will go – make no mistake about that. She will never be forgiven, by the country or her party, for this debacle. But the Tories also know that, given the damage that she has inflicted on their party, they’re in no fit state to fight another general election. And as soon as they’re ready, they’ll get rid of her. It’s a question of when, not if.

It is a testament to how badly May failed that she has left her party in such a bad state that it can’t risk ousting her right away for fear of losing the next election. Nelson writes:

She is not being defenestrated because her party doesn’t want a leadership election now, having demeaned itself enough in the eyes of the electorate. Another Boris v Gove debacle could mean another election and Jeremy Corbyn in No. 10; stopping this is now the number one Tory priority (more so than Brexit).

The desire to delay another leadership contest is understandable, especially in light of what happened during the last one, but I doubt it can be put off for more than a couple months. May doesn’t really have the confidence of her party or the electorate, and everyone knows it, so my guess is that a rebellion will occur before the summer is out. It is possible that her desperate and ill-advised partnership with the DUP will blow up in her face just as her election gamble did. There is a report that she is seeking a formal coalition deal with the DUP, which is potentially even more destabilizing for Northern Ireland than a “confidence-and-supply” arrangement. If the Tories are responsible for wrecking the peace there on account of May’s political shenanigans, they may lose the next election regardless of when they oust May and they will deserve to.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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