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You Do the Math: Can May Get Her Brexit Deal Through Parliament? (Bloomberg)

Theresa May Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Theresa May Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

By Robert Hutton
November 9, 2018, 8:00 AM GMT+3

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is edging closer to a Brexit deal. But before anyone cracks open the English sparkling wine, she has to get it past Parliament, where she doesn’t have a majority and her Conservative Party is split. So how will she cobble together the votes?

Source: Bloomberg reporting
Source: Bloomberg reporting


Target: 320

There are 650 members of Parliament in the House of Commons, known as MPs. Of these, the Speaker and his three deputies don’t vote. The seven members of Sinn Fein don’t take their seats. That leaves 639 MPs, so if everyone votes, 320 are needed for a majority.

Voting With May

  • Conservative Payroll Vote: around 150

These are the 95 Conservative MPs who have some kind of paid government job, and then around 50 more who work unpaid as a ministerial assistant. They would have to resign from this job to vote against her.

  • Conservative Loyalists: around 85

These are the MPs who don’t care very much about Brexit, or want to move the national conversation on to other things, or hope to further their careers, or who are just loyal. May should be able to count on them.

That’s 235. May needs another 85. Now things get hard.

Continued on


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