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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Recent Comments

  • David Raw
    Sorry, Mr Macfie, but the blue wall seats are not the same as the seats lost in 2015 for quite different reasons....
  • David Raw
    @ Alex Macfie " it’ll be much harder to attack him over it after he’s given his evidence". That's what you hope will happen. My opinion - after si...
  • Marco
    I would be concerned that whilst the Tory vote is imploding in "red wall" areas (up to 25% fall) it is is reducing by more modest amounts in "blue wall" areas (...
  • Alex Macfie
    @David Raw: Nearly all our seats "returned to type" in 2015, whether that was Tory or Labour. We all know the reason why. Obviously we have to play our cards mu...
  • Alex Macfie
    All current and former PO ministers will be giving evidence to the inquiry in the next phase, Ed included. This will actually help Ed, because (i) he won't be b...