BORIS Johnson tonight faces the fight of his political life as Tory MPs decide his future in a confidence vote.

The PM's fate hangs with 358 Conservative colleagues gearing up to cast their judgement on his embattled leadership.

He desperately needs more than half to back him – and if not he will be booted out of Downing Street.

The number of Tory MPs on the government payroll as a minister or aide means he is likely to win the vote.

But failure to bag a landslide could still spell curtains if he feels he no longer commands enough support across his backbenches.

1. WIN COMFORTABLY

Downing Street today insisted Mr Johnson relished the chance to "draw a line" under months of rows over Partygate.

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A comfortable victory tonight would help solidify the PM's grip on the party and finally put his woes behind him.

It would give the PM ammo to dismiss his critics and get on with his priorities.

Allies are confident of winning but are today ringing round wavering MPs to secure the largest majority possible.

2. LOSE AND GO

Failure to win support from 180 of his colleagues would bring Mr Johnson's premiership crashing down.

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A contest to replace him as Tory leader would be held, and he would only stay as prime minister until this is concluded.

Possible successors include Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, Jeremy Hunt, Nadhim Zahawi, Penny Mordaunt and Tom Tugendhat.

However it is not likely he will lose, with rebels instead hoping to wound him enough that he falls on his sword.

3. WIN BUT WOUNDED

A likely scenario is that Mr Johnson wins the contest but is seriously hurt by a sizable rebellion.

Mutineers hope that more than 100 votes against the PM would be enough to force him to fall on his sword.

Both Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May threw in the towel soon after winning their own confidence votes.

And John Major only limped on before suffering an election drubbing in 1997.

Under current rules a confidence vote can only happen once a year, meaning he is safe for another 12 months.

But 1922 chair Sir Graham Brady hinted today the rules could be changed to shorten the grace period.

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