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British PM Boris Johnson looking puzzled.

Leon Neal via Reuters

What We're Watching: Confidence in Boris, Shanghai reopens, chicken inflation

The Boris vote is coming

Following last week’s Gray report, findings from an investigation into allegations that Boris Johnson attended lockdown-violating social events during the pandemic, it seemed that the UK prime minister might avoid a vote of no-confidence in his leadership of the Conservative Party. But a clumsy response — Johnson claims the report “vindicated” him — and resulting criticism this week from members of his party suggest the vote is coming, perhaps as soon as next week. Here are the basics: It would take a formal request from 54 Tory MPs to force a vote and a simple majority of 180 Tories to oust him. For now, it appears the vote would be close. A narrow victory would leave him a diminished figure, but he could survive in power until a national election in 2024. A loss would create a wide-open, two-month contest to lead the party forward. The vote may wait until after a pair of crucial parliamentary by-elections on June 23. A loss for Conservatives in both those votes might seal Johnson’s fate.

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