This is both because deposing a prime minister who has won a relatively recent general election with a good majority – and thus an undoubted popular mandate – is a risky business; and because the rules create a Byzantine firework for plotting and gaming the system.
Each potential candidate has to weigh up their chances of actually removing the incumbent and then winning a subsequent election before they might signal their supporters to send the necessary triggering letters to the chair of the backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, even if secrecy is guaranteed. Creating trouble and instability but seeing then Johnson survive a challenge might be the worst of all worlds. He’d have to limp on with diminished authority and standing, the party bitterly divided, and advantaging only the opposition parties.
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