Others were less optimistic, with one Conservative lawmaker saying on condition of anonymity: “It is clearly much worse than most people were expecting. But it is too early to say what will happens now.”
Roger Gale, a long-time critic of Johnson, urged the prime minister “to go back to Downing Street tonight and consider very carefully where he goes from here”.
By winning the confidence vote, Johnson has secured a reprieve for 12 months when lawmakers cannot bring another challenge. But his predecessor Theresa May scored better in her 2018 confidence vote only to resign six months later.
Dozens of Conservative lawmakers have voiced concern over whether Johnson, 57, has lost his authority to govern Britain, which is facing the risk of recession, rising fuel and food prices and strike-inflicted travel chaos in the capital London.
But his cabinet rallied around him and highlighted what they said were the successes of the government: a quick rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations and Britain's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
A majority of the Conservatives' lawmakers — at least 180 — would have had to vote against Johnson for him to be removed.
Earlier, a spokesperson for Johnson's Downing Street office said the vote would “allow the government to draw a line and move on” and that the prime minister welcomed the opportunity to make his case to lawmakers.
Johnson, a former London mayor, rose to power at Westminster as the face of the Brexit campaign in a 2016 referendum, and won the 2019 election with the slogan to “get Brexit done”.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, Brexit opportunities minister, told Sky News that completing Britain's departure from the European Union would be “significantly at risk without his drive and energy”.
Johnson has locked horns with Brussels over Northern Ireland, raising the prospect of more barriers for British trade and alarming leaders in Ireland, Europe and the US about risks to the province's 1998 peace deal.
But it was the months of stories of what went on in Downing Street, including fights and alcohol-induced vomiting, when many people were prevented from saying goodbye to loved ones at funerals, that did the real damage.
The move led to lawmakers from different wings of the party revealing that they had turned against their leader. One former ally accused the prime minister of insulting both the electorate and the party by staying in power.
“You have presided over a culture of casual lawbreaking at 10 Downing Street in relation to Covid-19,” Jesse Norman, a former junior minister, said before the vote.
Johnson's anti-corruption chief John Penrose also quit.