By Joe Harker
The Conservatives have had quite enough of Theresa May, deciding that their dear leader and prime minister must go sooner rather than later. She promised to leave in the event of another general election or her withdrawal agreement being passed, neither such thing has happened.
With parliament in recess until April 23 many MPs are taking a break from the exhausting process of trying to get the UK out of the EU, though some are making preparations for a leadership bid in a race they now deem inevitable.
For many in the Tories it is a case of when, no if Theresa May goes. There is talk of another vote of no confidence in the prime minister, but after the last one failed they would have to either change the rules or wait until the end of the year. They cannot wait.
The Daily Telegraph reports that "grassroots Tories" are planning to oust May in a matter of weeks.
They are attempting to call an Extraordinary General Meeting to pass a vote of no confidence in her, needing a petition to be signed by more than 65 party association chairmen. Thus far they have between 40 and 50 signatures and could pass the limit by next week.
The petition was organised by Dinah Glover, who believes the EGM, the first in the party's history, could be held as early as next month. May could be the end of May.
May has already been encouraged by Iain Duncan Smith to resign before she is forced out, arguing that the Tories absolutely cannot contest the European parliament elections on May 23 as it would be "political death" for the party.
If the prime minister will not leave the EU without a deal and thus avoid the elections then the Tories will try and find a new prime minister.
The Counter Claim:
On the other hand, a new prime minister would also open up the possibility of another general election. The Tories have a minority government propped up by the DUP and a new leader would lack a mandate for Brexit and the governance of the UK at large.
Projections of their chances during an election suggest they would shed 60 seats and no longer be the largest party in the House of Commons, allowing Labour to lead a coalition government instead.
The Tories are in no state to contest and election but a new leader would not have the support of their entire party on the matter of leaving the EU. The party is split and MPs cannot decide on what they want to do. A new prime minister could find calling an election inevitable.
In that case it wouldn't be too smart to challenge May. Weak and disliked, she is nevertheless the stopgap for more chaos.
Although the rules within the Conservative party state that after a failed vote of no confidence there must be a 12 month period until the next one the Daily Mail reports that Tory party grandees say the rules can be changed.
The rules for leadership challenges within the party are controlled by the 1922 Committee, presided over by Sir Graham Brady. MPs would have the power to change the rules, reducing or scrapping the relief period between no confidence votes, though there are doubts as to whether this could be done during said period.
Former chairmen of the 1922 Committee Michael Spicer and Archie Hamilton wrote that it was within the power of Tory MPs to change the rules if they so desired, insisting there was "nothing standing in their way" if that was what the party wanted.
May's last vote of no confidence within the Tory party saw her win by 200 votes to 117. A later confidence vote in her government, proposed by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, was defeated 325 votes to 306.