It was unusual from the start. The Speaker had picked four amendments to the motion to approve the Plan to be debated. The first three of those were "not moved" meaning they were not voted on. It was clear those MPs were keeping their powder dry so that the main motion would stand unamended and therefore the vote would be a true reflection of the Commons' views. One amendment was voted on but only garnered around 26 votes. All those hours looking up the Westminster bible of Erskine and May (no relation) for procedural quirks appeared to have been a waste of time.
In anything other than a Brexit world the PM would have resigned immediately at losing the vote on a flagship policy and by a record breaking number of votes. It would not necessarily have meant the Government would fall, but they would certainly have been looking for a new leader and PM. However in this Brexit world all the usual conventions and expectations have been parked outside. The PM immediately said she would carry on, have a word today with the other leading Parliamentarians in the House (although not necessarily saying that would include the other party leaders) and then come back with something which could be agreed. As a result of a recent amendment to procedures that would have to be within three working days, which means Monday of next week.
The leader of the opposition, not surprisingly, has now lodged a motion of no confidence in Her Majesty's Government. In the past just winning that vote could lead to a general election, but as a result of the Fixed Terms Parliament Act 2011 the motion needs to be passed by 2/3 of the members of the house, including vacant seats, as opposed to 2/3 of those who vote. The informed view is that this number is unlikely to be reached, especially since the DUP have said they will support the Government and the Sein Fein seats have never been taken up. The Conservatives are generally not keen on the idea of an early election at this stage, and so are likely to vote against the motion.