Oh Dear God, What The Hell Is Going On With British Politics NOW?

    It's all going brilliantly.

    Good morning. Must be a Wednesday, because guess what?

    looking forward to a nice quiet day today, let's just check twitter to see what ha

    It's British-politics-has-a-total-meltdown time.

    This GIF is the government, except also the mug is on fire, and the dog is on fire and all that’s left is ash and the ash is on fire and the fire is on the fire. #NoConfidence

    So much so that even the Queen of Twitter wants to know WTF is going on.

    okay one of my goals for 2019 is to understand UK politics. I read and read and try and learn but my brain cannot grasp it

    Why had the broadcasters scrambled to Downing Street, where prime minister Theresa May was due to give a speech, with such haste that they ended up broadcasting compelling footage of one of her confused advisers?

    current status of british politics:

    How had we got to the point where the prime minister was quite literally spitting deep bars in a bid to survive?

    Say what you like about Theresa May but she’s got decent flow

    Well, it's actually quite simple*.

    Vote for vote may trigger votes then vote followed by other vote https://t.co/kmfivJF3xF

    *Deep breath*

    This morning it was announced that 48 or more letters calling for a vote of no confidence have been submitted to the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs, which means a confidence vote on May's leadership will be held tonight, and this in turn will give rise to at least one of the outcomes outlined here below by our political reporters Alex Spence and Alex Wickham, on the BuzzFeed News whiteboard of doom.

    (*sorry, it is not)

    Alex Spence / Alex Wickham / BuzzFeed

    You could try to decipher that, but the TL;DR is the Tories are royally screwed.

    Tories taking back control of the Tory party would be a fucking start, wouldn’t it. Baby steps and all that

    Word of the day: "ZUGZWANG" (n.). In chess, a situation where you have to make a move – but every possible action makes things worse, possibly terminally so.

    And the reason they're screwed is the lack of unity. Here's one Tory MP refusing to appear on TV next to another, for example, in footage best not viewed by anyone who suffers from social anxiety.

    This exchange between @vicderbyshire, James Cleverly and Andrew Bridgen is REALLY QUITE SOMETHING.

    Awkward timing for all this TBH.

    CCHQ Christmas party tomorrow night 🎄🎉🎁🎊😀

    And here's the other bit of good news: So divided are they, there's apparently not a single candidate who could take over from May whom the rest of the party's MPs would support en masse.

    Quick explainer of the Tory leadership election process

    In fact it's entirely likely a new leader would only widen the divisions and make a general election even more likely.

    Pro tip: When the MPs who support you are dropping c-bombs in relation to their colleagues, it's fair to say your party's not in a great place.

    This pro-May minister’s campaign slogan is certainly memorable

    And others — ironically, some Leave-supporting Brexiteers — think a narrow win shouldn't count.

    So she’s saying a narrow victory doesn’t deliver a mandate? https://t.co/cMhKNDbAMg

    So for Labour supporters the whole thing's hilarious, not that their party is much less divided.

    theresa may after the vote of no confidence tonight

    By lunchtime, the shitshow had reached "Oh god even the Americans are watching" proportions.

    CNN's main US channel is covering PMQs live. (h/t @lisatozzi) CNN anchor trying to explain the situation to Americans: "The part of it's that bleak is that no one sees a path. They're in this stasis... they're in a quagmire right now."

    Whereupon David Cameron gave the nation a chance to come together.

    I hope Conservative MPs will back the PM in the vote today. We need no distractions from seeking the best outcome with our neighbours, friends and partners in the EU.

    It all led people to hark back to a simpler time.

    Extraordinary to think that if Ed Miliband could've eaten a bacon sandwich slightly less weirdly, none of this might have happened. #NoConfidence #NoBrownSauce

    .@theresa_may If it goes wrong tonight I can promise you a bright future in podcasting...

    Still, at least things are quieter on the continent.

    Europe this morning: —Leader facing no confidence vote, UK —Gov. facing no confidence vote, France —Gov. facing no confidence vote, Poland —Gov. could fall at any minute, Belgium —Parliament in disarray, Hungary —Fighting potentially ramping up, Ukraine Everything is *Fine*.

    Oh.

    Even the good news now looks like bad news.

    Guys I'm starting to feel we may have made the wrong decision. https://t.co/qrHg2sqlkt

    All of which meant that at one point the environment secretary was being chased around Westminster by a man dressed as Santa, and people barely noticed.

    “Santa Claus” is following Michael Gove around Westminster saying “you’ve been a very naughty boy haven’t you Mr Gove.”

    As the Tories started to vote, the questions mounted.

    The PM has just gone in. When asked how she will vote, she just laughed. Cryptic.

    This could be big. It could mean a) she’s won or b) she’s lost https://t.co/1uMxRWr4bR

    Would she be safe for another year?

    If Theresa May survives this vote and can’t be challenged for another year, the Theresa May no confidence vote could become a much-loved Christmas tradition.

    Finally it was all over, everyone claimed to have won, and the BBC got too excited.

    All I can focus on is the over-use of capital letters by BBC News

    In summary:

    I don't say this lightly, but this is the worst British political crisis since Wednesday.

    Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Alan White at alan.white@buzzfeed.com.

    Got a confidential tip? Submit it here