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 AvatarSteve Comer 1st Jul - 7:31pm
    Good move by Tim to visit the centre with Caroline. I`m also pleased to see him openly attacking Farage over the posters as Guy Verhofstadt...
  • User Avatarpetermartin2001 1st Jul - 7:14pm
    @ Alison, With all due respect to you I would say you are making the very usual mistake of equating being pro-EU with being pro-Europe....
  • User AvatarRichard Gadsden 1st Jul - 7:07pm
    @Eddie, to be fair, Manchester had a lot of near-empty terraces to pull down for mid-rise and a lot of brownfield. But the real differences...
  • User AvatarRoland 1st Jul - 7:03pm
    then there could be a general election in November. Expect UKIP to fully utilise the opportunity to mobilise it's new found pool of voters; you...
  • User AvatarRoger Heape 1st Jul - 6:55pm
    Peter good to have a thread on rural matters.I see a major opportunity for the Lib Dems post Brexit in coming up with proposals to...
  • User AvatarChris Rennard 1st Jul - 6:48pm
    The debate (shown in Paul Tyler’s link in his comment above) shows how clueless some of the Ministers in the Lords are these days! They...