How Liberal / Authoritarian is your MP: how the parties compare

Lib Dem Voice launched our new website – How Liberal / Authoritarian is your MP? – at the party’s spring conference last weekend.

LDV has identified 10 key votes from the 2005-10 Parliament – ranging from ID cards and freedom of speech to freedom of information and trial without jury – in order to rank all MPs according to how liberal or authoritarian their record is. All MPs are marked out of 100: the higher their score the more authoritarian they are. The lower their score the more liberal is their voting record.

On Wednesday, Lib Dem blogger James Graham posed the question, “Have you calculated what the average score for each party is?” Well, today, James, your luck is in. Here are the mean scores for all the political parties represented in the 2005-10 Parliament:

    Labour = 79
    SDLP = 63
    UUP = 35
    Sinn Fein = 27
    Respect = 21
    DUP = 15
    SNP = 13
    Independent = 12
    Plaid Cymru = 8
    Conservative = 7
    Liberal Democrats = 3

This confirms the Liberal Democrats as the most liberal party in the House of Commons when measured according to the party’s voting record on a range of key liberal/authoritarian issues.

Unsurprisingly, Labour’s allies in Northern Ireland, the SDLP, are the second most authoritarian party. Sinn Fein and the UUP are quite closely matched in terms of their views on liberal / authoritarian issues, together with George Galloway of Respect.

I’ve treated the Independents as a group because of how they’re categorised. In reality, though, the seven MPs have little in common, ranging from Old Labour’s Bob Wareing and Clare Short to former Tories Bob Spink and Derek Conway. It’s worth noting that the two Independent MPs elected as Independents – Dai Davies and Richard Taylor – both have impeccably liberal credentials, scoring zero.

Do please use How Liberal / Authoritarian is your MP? and its built-in social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook to spread the news about how liberal or authoritarian your MP is.

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This entry was posted in News.


  • Interesting, I thought Labour were supposed to be closer to the Lib Dems than the ories!

  • Kyle – at least half the issues you mentioned would not be seen as authoritarian by most LDs. The Libertarian minority in the party would do better to acknowledge their minority status & respect the majority as honest Liberals who take a different position.
    On the wider question; we have to remember that this is partly a matter of whos in government. If the exercise was repeated for the 1980s a lot of the positions would be partly reversed.

  • How did Sinn Féin get included?

    Unless there has been a major change that I’ve slept through, their MPs don’t sit in Westminister – so how can you score them on 10 Key Votes in the 2005-10 parliament?

    A fairly obvious and rookie mistake for any observer of UK politics.

  • Kevin Breslin (SDLP) 6th Apr '10 - 10:23pm

    I agree with John, the basis of the UUP and SDLP’s supposed authoritarianism is based mainly on the absentism of votes, the same with the nationalists in Scotland and Wales who have their own assemblies too … it’s the Liberal’s own authoritarianism that would see them show up at the drop of a hat to pass legislation ensuringing Liberal Democrats own liberal promotions are kept, particularly ones soley in Anglocentric interests.

    If you think that the DUP, and the absentee Sinn Fein are the most liberal parties elected to Westminster from Northern Ireland, you really haven’t gotten much feedback from Fordey and the boys in the Alliance Party, a person who lets face it will be in the most authoritarian position in Northern Ireland politics by this summer.

  • PassingLiberal 5th Apr '16 - 11:12pm

    Little surprised by Labour’s position–a grossly illiberal party, especially in the economic sphere.

One Trackback

  • By ‘Best of the Web’ « Open Unionism on Mon 29th March 2010 at 11:26 am.

    […] thanks to Lib Dem Voice, we also know the identities of the most authoritarian Parties in the Commons. Parties were ranked […]

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