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



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarHelen Tedcastle 25th Oct - 11:54am
    Paul in Wokingham ' This isn’t a failure of the political left. It’s a problem with our entire political system.' The failure of the left...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 25th Oct - 11:33am
    There isn't a single reason why a land value tax is better than a net asset tax, so liberals should stop a 100 year old...
  • User AvatarColin 25th Oct - 11:24am
    @JonTilley, "I would not put too much store in any opinion polls that predict a bright future for the Conservatives in Scotland." But I didn't...
  • User AvatarSimon Foster 25th Oct - 11:18am
    Matthew, I think there's some conflation in your argument. Donnachadh McCarthy and Jenny Jones, far from arguing that people shouldn't vote, have been arguing that...
  • User AvatarColin 25th Oct - 11:18am
    @Matthew Huntbach "Because given a choice between pleasant fantasy and unpleasant reality, people will tend to vote for pleasant fantasy?" A great confidence in the...
  • User AvatarJohnTilley 25th Oct - 10:54am
    Paul in Wokingham It will not come as a shock to you that I agree. “…….This isn’t a failure of the political left. It’s a...