For those wanting to know the voting breakdown of last night’s historic decision in the Commons to approve equal marriage, here it is courtesy of Andrew Sparrow’s essential Guardian live-blog…
FOR – 127 MPs (42%)
AGAINST – 136 MPs (45%)
ABSTENTIONS – 5 MPs (2%)
ABSENT – 35 MPs (12%)
FOR – 217 MPs (84%)
AGAINST – 22 MPs (9%)
ABSTENTION – 16 MPs (6%)
FOR – 45 MPs (80%)
Danny Alexander (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey), Tom Brake (Carshalton & Wallington), Annette Brooke (Dorset Mid & Poole North), Jeremy Browne (Taunton Deane), Malcolm Bruce (Gordon), Paul Burstow (Sutton & Cheam), Lorely Burt (Solihull), Vincent Cable (Twickenham), Sir Menzies Campbell (Fife North East), Alistair Carmichael (Orkney & Shetland), Nick Clegg (Sheffield Hallam), Michael Crockart (Edinburgh West), Edward Davey (Kingston & Surbiton), Tim Farron (Westmorland & Lonsdale), Lynne Featherstone (Hornsey & Wood Green), Don Foster (Bath), Andrew George (St Ives), Stephen Gilbert (St Austell & Newquay), Duncan Hames (Chippenham), Mike Hancock (Portsmouth South), Sir Nick Harvey (Devon North), David Heath (Somerton & Frome), John Hemming (Birmingham Yardley), Simon Hughes (Bermondsey & Old Southwark), Julian Huppert (Cambridge), Mark Hunter (Cheadle), Norman Lamb (Norfolk North), David Laws (Yeovil), John Leech (Manchester Withington), Stephen Lloyd (Eastbourne), Michael Moore (Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk), Tessa Munt (Wells), Alan Reid (Argyll & Bute), Dan Rogerson (Cornwall North), Bob Russell (Colchester), Adrian Sanders (Torbay), Sir Robert Smith (Aberdeenshire West & Kincardine), Andrew Stunell (Hazel Grove), Ian Swales (Redcar), Jo Swinson (Dunbartonshire East), Steve Webb (Thornbury & Yate), Mark Williams (Ceredigion), Roger Williams (Brecon & Radnorshire), Stephen Williams (Bristol West), Simon Wright (Norwich South).
AGAINST – 4 MPs (7%)
Sir Alan Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed), Gordon Birtwistle (Burnley), John Pugh (Southport), Sarah Teather (Brent Central).
ABSTENTION – 1 MP (2%)
Greg Mulholland (Leeds North West)
ABSENT – 6 MPs (11%)
Norman Baker (Lewes), Martin Horwood (Cheltenham), Charles Kennedy (Ross, Skye & Lochaber), John Thurso (Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross), David Ward (Bradford East), Jenny Willott (Cardiff Central).
I have, by the way, split the 7 Lib Dem abstainers into 2 groups, based on Mark Pack’s excellent bit of investigatory work here showing only one intended abstention, Greg Mulholland. (I haven’t done the same for Labour simply because I don’t have the information.)
Four of the 6 absentees — Norman Baker, Martin Horwood, David Ward and Jenny Willott — have all publicly declared themselves in favour of equal marriage (and Jenny had the utterly legitimate excuse for her absence that she was giving birth!). That leaves just 2 — Charles Kennedy and John Thurso — whose views on the issue are not on the public record.
Here was what Nick Clegg had to say about last night’s vote:
I genuinely believe that we will look back on today as a landmark for equality in Britain. Tonight’s vote shows parliament is very strongly in favour of equal marriage.
No matter who you are and who you love, we are all equal. Marriage is about love and commitment, and it should no longer be denied to people just because they are gay.
The Liberal Democrats have long fought for equal marriage. It is party policy and I am proud that the Liberal Democrats are part of the coalition government that are making it happen.
I especially want to pay tribute to Lynne Featherstone, whose dedication and tenacity have been critical to making this happen.
* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.