UK's Theresa May is now a lame duck

With Mrs May's authority already at a low ebb, what one of her loyal colleagues said would be a "little more time", got even harder.

She added: "This has been a long and challenging day, but at the end of it I'm pleased to have received the backing of my colleagues in tonight's ballot".

And without significant changes to the treaty as it applies to Northern Ireland, which the European Union is unlikely to grant, the deal she returns with will not be radically different from its current iteration.

This promise is part of her campaign to secure enough votes to stay at No 10.

Nor will the vote change the parliamentary arithmetic in the House of Commons.

Now, under party rules, disgruntled Tories can't trigger a new leadership contest for another 12 months. If Theresa May wins she can not face another such vote for at least a year.

In theory, yes. Whilst May cannot face a vote of confidence as leader of the Conservative Party for another year, she can-and likely will-face a vote of confidence as prime minister sooner or later.

In a bid to win over wavering lawmakers, May indicated she would step down before the next election, due in 2022.

All of our region's Tory MPs are thought to have voted in favour of the prime minister although the ballot will remain secret.

May, who spent Tuesday touring European Union capitals to appeal for changes to sweeten her divorce deal for reluctant United Kingdom lawmakers, has until January 21 to hold a vote on the agreement in Parliament, a timetable that could be scuttled if she is replaced.

Tory Brexiteers are hoping to topple May in Wednesday evening's vote, but she made a last-minute appeal to party-members, saying ditching her now would plunge the country into even more uncertainty.

Speaking during Prime Minister's Questions, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described the no-confidence vote as "utterly irrelevant", calling on May to "halt this escalating crisis that is so damaging to so many people in this country".

And in order to survive, the prime minister had to give up the possibility of taking her party into the next election.

Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union on March 29, so there is significant time pressure for progress.

Solicitor general Robert Buckland told reporters: "She said, "In my heart I would like to lead the party into the next election" and then that was the introductory phrase to her indication that she would accept the fact that would not happen, that is not her intention".

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, said: "The threshold of 15% of the parliamentary party seeking a vote of confidence in the leader of the Conservative Party has been exceeded".

"It failed to rally on the news", said Ed Al-Hussainy, senior currencies and rates analyst at the money manager.

Roughly 100 Conservative MPs serve in May's government, either as cabinet secretaries or more junior ministers.

Faced with an apparently unassailable poll lead, she called a snap election in June 2017 to bolster her position and Brexit plan - only to lose the Conservatives' majority in the Commons.

None of the Prime Minister's critics took the opportunity to attack her, while there was strong support from backbenchers including Neil O'Brien, who condemned "headbangers from all sides" for undermining her.

May took over after her predecessor David Cameron quit following the shock vote for Brexit in June 2016, winning by default after her rivals fought among themselves or withdrew.

Given market positioning, "there's a lot of room for the market to come in and start to establish shorts on this", said Greg Anderson, global head of foreign-exchange strategy at BMO.

Meanwhile, leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg told the BBC that "I accept the confidence vote result but Theresa May should still meet the Queen and resign".

  • Joey Payne