6:04am Tuesday AEST: Boris Johnson WINS the confidence vote by 211 votes to 148. Theoretically, he’s now safe from further challenge for a year, but this rule could be changed. In percentage terms, that’s a 58.8-41.2 victory for Johnson.
Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.
Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 committee, announced Monday morning UK time that at least 54 Conservative MPs (15% of the total number of parliamentary Conservative MPs) had sent letters to him expressing no-confidence in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s leadership.
A full vote of all Conservative MPs will be held between 6pm and 8pm Monday UK time (3am to 5am Tuesday AEST). If Johnson loses, he will be replaced as PM once a new Conservative leader is elected. If he wins, he’s theoretically safe for a year. Results will be announced soon after the vote finishes.
On May 19, UK police completed their investigation into Partygate and issued 126 fines, but Boris Johnson did not receive additional fines; he was fined once in April. The Sue Gray report into Partygate was finally published May 25.
Parliamentary by-elections will occur in Conservative-held Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton on June 23. Wakefield was Labour from 1932 until the Conservatives won in 2019, while T&H has been Conservative since its creation in 1997. A poll in Wakefield gave Labour a 48-28 lead over the Conservatives (47-40 to Conservatives at the 2019 election).
National polls currently have Labour leading by high single digits. UK inflation has risen 9% in the 12 months to April, the highest in 40 years. I believe this is far more important in explaining the Conservatives’ polling woes than Partygate, and I don’t believe another leader would be doing much better than Johnson with inflation this high.
French legislative elections: June 12 and 19
In April, Emmanuel Macron was re-elected as French president, defeating the far-right Marine Le Pen by 58.5-41.5 in the runoff. Legislative elections will be held in two rounds on June 12 and 19. There are 577 single-member seats with Macron’s Renaissance party currently holding a clear majority.
To win outright in the first round, a candidate must win at least 50% of valid votes and at least 25% of registered voters in that seat. If no candidate wins outright, the second round will include the top two first round finishers and any other candidate who won at least 12.5% of registered voters (note: not valid votes).
The candidate who wins the most votes in the second round is the winner. In practice, the large majority of second round contests will have just two candidates as it is hard to qualify from third given relatively low turnout. Third candidates can also be pressured into withdrawing before the runoff.
At this election, four parties of the left (the far-left La France Insoumise, the Greens, the centre-left Socialists and the Communists) have united into NUPES, and will field only one candidate per seat. Most polls have Macron’s Ensemble coalition leading or just behind NUPES.
In the second round, most votes of excluded candidates (right-wing mostly) would go to Ensemble over NUPES, so Ensemble would retain its legislative majority if these polls are correct. However, support for the far-left Jean Luc Mélenchonwas understated in the first round of the presidential election. Are the polls understating NUPES?
At the June 2 election in Canada’s most populous province of Ontario, the Conservatives were re-elected with 83 of the 124 seats, with the left-wing New Democrats winning 31, the centre-left Liberals eight and the Greens one. Vote shares were 40.8% Conservative, 23.9% Liberals, 23.7% NDP and 6.0% Greens, so 53.6% for the combined left became just 32% of seats owing to split voting under first past the post.
At the May 15 election in Germany’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the conservative CDU won 35.7% (up 2.8% since 2017), the centre-left SPD 26.7% (down 4.6%), the Greens 18.2% (up 11.8%), the pro-business FDP 5.9% (down 6.7%) and the far-right AfD 5.4% (down 1.9%). With 5% required for a proportional share of seats, the SPD and Greens combined won 95 of the 198 seats, three short of the 98 needed for a majority.
At the May 9 Philippine presidential election, Bongbong Marcos, the son of the former dictator, won 58.8% of the vote, and his nearest rival won just 27.9%.
I have been writing articles pro bono for The Conversation since 2013. They have now offered me a job as an election analyst that began June 2. Note the update to the bio info that comes with every article I do here.