It says a lot that a crunch meeting between the British Prime Minister and her backbenchers about whether her leadership can continue does not even warrant a morning headline on British news channels. 

The expectation that nothing definitive would come from this showdown proved to be true.  We have been here before - many times.  Conservative backbench MP’s have clearly learned some lessons from Theresa May’s ability to kick a can down the road.

They have given her until early June to map out her plans to step down.

They know that between now and then several events will have taken place which will mean the die may be cast in a way that even Mrs May can no longer ignore.

Conservative MP’s and grassroots organisers are all in agreement that the party faces devastating losses in next week’s European Parliament elections.  

Polls suggesting the party will come in fourth or fifth place are now commonplace.  The few Conservatives who are actively campaigning in the election report significant hostility on the doorsteps, often among those who have been previous party loyalists. 

Theresa May faces another crucial vote in early June, this one on the Brexit Withdrawal Bill.

Once again, she is expected to lose that vote.  It would leave a stalled Brexit process dead in the water.  

All hope of Mrs May finding another way through would seem utterly futile and her leadership, which has eked along from week to week for years now, would have to come to an end.  

It would also spare her the embarrassing spectacle of a vote of no confidence in her leadership which is expected from a meeting of grassroots Conservatives on June 15th. 

In allowing Theresa May more time today, the 1922 Committee may feel they are leaving her to formulate an exit which is to some extent on her own terms.  But the idea that Mrs May will leave now with any kind of legacy seems far-fetched at best.

Instead her official departure is anticipated now during a particularly busy time.  

The US President Donald Trump arrives to the UK for his first official state visit from June 3rd to 5th.  Mrs May will bring the Withdrawal Bill to the Commons for almost certain defeat later that week.  

And on June 6th a by-election in Peterborough (triggered because of the jailing of the incumbent Labour MP) is expected to hammer home another defeat for the Tories.  

That week she will meet again with the 1922 Committee - for an update on a situation which will at that point be largely out of Theresa May’s hands.

A formal announcement of Mrs May’s departure will open up an official leadership competition which has unofficially been under way for some time now.  

Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab, Jeremy Hunt, Matt Hancock, Rory Stewart, Andrea Leadsom…..the list of would-be contenders goes on and on.

But whoever ends up ushering in a new era will inherit the Brexit conundrum.  That will not disappear along with Theresa May.