If an MP votes against, or abstains in a vote of no confidence of their own Government, can they continue to be a member of that party?

2 Answers 2


I don't think there's likely to be a definitive answer to this, as it depends on (among other things):

  1. the party's rules
  2. the discretion of those in charge of the party in penalising errant MPs
  3. to what extent party discipline is being maintained
  4. the party's current majority.
  5. the member's previous behaviour

Regardless, one would expect serious repercussions. For example:

Nine Conservative MPs had the whip removed in 1993, after failing to support John Major’s government in a vote of confidence subject to a three-line whip.

  • "whip removed" = expelled from the party, but not from Parliament.
    – MSalters
    Commented Jun 25, 2019 at 10:30
  • 1
    @MSalters: yes, or temporarily suspended from the party. Parties have no power to expel MPs from parliament. Commented Jun 25, 2019 at 11:22

Let's just say that the headwinds are very strong. See for instance the vote of no confidence against John Major in 1993. Dissenting Conservative MPs had to come into line or lose the Conservative whip. Only one, Rupert Allason, abstained owing to not being present, and had the Conservative Party whip suspended for a year.

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