Author Archives: Philip Cowley and Mark Stuart

The Independent View: And then there was one… (Unmasked! The only backbench Lib Dem MP 100% loyal to the Coalition)

When a quarter of the parliamentary Conservative party rebels, everyone sits up and takes notice. On 24 October, 2011, 81 Conservative MPs defied a three-line whip to vote in favour of an EU referendum: cue a blaze of negative publicity for David Cameron and the Tory party whips.

But a week or so later one-quarter of Lib Dem MPs rebelled, and (almost) no one noticed. In nine separate votes on 1 and 2 November, a total of 14 Lib Dem MPs voted against various aspects of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill. The largest …

Posted in News, Parliament and The Independent View | Tagged , , , , , , and | 13 Comments

Opinion: the reality is a long way from equidistance

We are, said George Orwell, ‘a nation of flower-lovers, but also a nation of stamp-collectors, pigeon-fanciers, amateur carpenters, coupon-snippers, darts-players, crossword-puzzle fans’.  We think we can top that list.  We collect statistics on parliamentary voting behaviour.

And over the last decade we’ve noticed the remarkable change that has come over Lib Dem MPs.  Out of the 182 whipped votes in the last session of parliament, they voted with the Government on just 22 occasions.  Of the votes that occurred on the Second or Third Reading of Bills – what are effectively the votes on the overall principle of the bill – …

Posted in The Independent View | 22 Comments
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  • User AvatarAmalric 27th Nov - 3:05am
    Can anyone tell me when we passed this as our policy? I don’t recall this featuring in the pre-manifesto discussions. I do remember Nick Clegg...
  • User AvatarAmalric 27th Nov - 2:52am
    @ John Tilley For the current year you can go to the party website to see who the 29 people are - http://www.libdems.org.uk/federal_executive Hopefully it...
  • User AvatarAmalric 27th Nov - 2:26am
    So I can take comfort from the idea that a uniform national swing with us on 8% will give us 23 MPs. From this I...
  • User AvatarAllan 27th Nov - 1:17am
    @ David But secondly, also be prepared to confront the EU. That does not mean threatening to leave, but it does mean gently pointing out...
  • User AvatarConor McGovern 27th Nov - 1:12am
    @Charlie - What happens of the media spin it? If it were Christian terrorists, would their religion be brought up on the news and by...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 27th Nov - 1:05am
    "They have all of this mega-technology already, they currently use it to read your posts and target massive mega-advertising at you!" Yes, and that's easy....