The 62 most liberal non-Lib Dem MPs

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.

Over two-thirds of Lib Dem MPs recorded a score of 3/100 or fewer, meaning they had voted on the liberal side of the argument in at least 9 of the 10 Commons debates we looked at. So 3/100 is the cut-off point I’ve used to see who qualifies as liberal in terms of their voting record.

57 of those who qualified are Tory MPs (a little under one-third of their total MPs), along with two Independent MPs, Richard Taylor and Dai Davies, and John Mason of the SNP. Especial credit, though, should go to those two Labour MPs – John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn – for defying their whips in order to vote on the liberal side of the argument (though neither are likely to be too afeared of their party’s whips).

Here is the roll-call of those non-Lib Dem MPs who have voted in a liberal way most of the time:

    =4 David Lidington Aylesbury Conservative 3
    =4 Dominic Grieve Beaconsfield Conservative 3
    =4 Jacqui Lait Beckenham Conservative 3
    =4 Alistair Burt North East Bedfordshire Conservative 3
    =4 John Baron Billericay Conservative 3
    =4 Nick Gibb Bognor Regis & Littlehampton Conservative 3
    =4 Mark Simmonds Boston & Skegness Conservative 3
    =4 Andrew MacKay Bracknell Conservative 3
    =4 Brooks Newmark Braintree Conservative 3
    =4 Charles Walker Broxbourne Conservative 3
    =4 Shailesh Vara North West Cambridgeshire Conservative 3
    =4 Andrew Lansley South Cambridgeshire Conservative 3
    =4 Julian Brazier Canterbury Conservative 3
    =4 Cheryl Gillan Chesham & Amersham Conservative 3
    =4 Andrew Tyrie Chichester Conservative 3
    =4 Mark Field Cities of London & Westminster Conservative 3
    =4 David Jones Clwyd West Conservative 3
    =4 David Burrowes Enfield, Southgate Conservative 3
    =4 Eleanor Laing Epping Forest Conservative 3
    =4 Chris Grayling Epsom & Ewell Conservative 3
    =4 Michael Jack Fylde Conservative 3
    =4 Anne Milton Guildford Conservative 3
    =4 Edward Garnier Harborough Conservative 3
    =4 John McDonnell Hayes & Harlington Labour 3
    =4 Mark Prisk Hertford & Stortford Conservative 3
    =4 Oliver Heald North East Hertfordshire Conservative 3
    =4 David Gauke South West Hertfordshire Conservative 3
    =4 James Clappison Hertsmere Conservative 3
    =4 Lee Scott Ilford North Conservative 3
    =4 Jeremy Corbyn Islington North Labour 3
    =4 Philip Hollobone Kettering Conservative 3
    =4 Bill Wiggin Leominster Conservative 3
    =4 Theresa May Maidenhead Conservative 3
    =4 Caroline Spelman Meriden Conservative 3
    =4 Paul Beresford Mole Valley Conservative 3
    =4 Desmond Swayne New Forest West Conservative 3
    =4 Richard Benyon Newbury Conservative 3
    =4 Stephen Crabb Preseli Pembrokeshire Conservative 3
    =4 Nigel Evans Ribble Valley Conservative 3
    =4 Kenneth Clarke Rushcliffe Conservative 3
    =4 David Amess Southend West Conservative 3
    =4 William Cash Stone Conservative 3
    =4 Peter Ainsworth East Surrey Conservative 3
    =4 Andrew Mitchell Sutton Coldfield Conservative 3
    =4 Laurence Robertson Tewkesbury Conservative 3
    =4 Angela Browning Tiverton & Honiton Conservative 3
    =4 Angela Watkinson Upminster Conservative 3
    =4 Anne McIntosh Vale of York Conservative 3
    =4 Charles Hendry Wealden Conservative 3
    =4 Peter Bone Wellingborough Conservative 3
    =4 David Heathcoat-Amory Wells Conservative 3
    =4 Grant Shapps Welwyn Hatfield Conservative 3
    =4 Adam Afriyie Windsor Conservative 3
    =4 Humfrey Malins Woking Conservative 3
    =4 John Redwood Wokingham Conservative 3
    =4 Michael Spicer West Worcestershire Conservative 3
    =4 John Howell Henley Conservative 3
    =4 John Mason Glasgow East Scottish National Party 3
    =1 Richard Shepherd Aldridge-Brownhills Conservative 0
    =1 Richard Taylor Wyre Forest Independent 0
    =1 Dai Davies Blaenau Gwent Independent 0

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.

* I’ve excluded Chloe Smith, Tory MP for Norwich North, who, though she scores an impeccably liberal zero has been in Parliament too short a period of time for it to mean very much.

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  • The appearance of Jeremy Corbyn & John McDonnell on this list exhibits why the whole project is meaningless. Both men are long-standing supporters of deeply authoritarian, anti-democratic regimes in Cuba and Venezuela – their extraordinary indulgence towards these Governments is better represented by the public statements they have made and the EDMs they have signed, as such issues are never subject to a Parliamentary vote. So no, “especial credit” is not due to them.

    If they have voted more ‘liberally’ on policy for the British Government, this merely suggests they believe that liberal Government should be upheld where they live, but is of no matter overseas. Which is even more unlovely. Or, as you say, their domestic success and apparent liberalism is based on opposing Labour Whips and nothing more.

  • I agree with Russ.

    That this metric considers Chris Grayling to be liberal shows it to be more than useless.

  • Peter Chegwyn 20th Mar '10 - 9:58pm

    Hmm. John Redwood a liberal? I think not!

  • I’m not at all convinced by the accuracy of that list – quite a few of those Tories are anything but liberal!

  • Julian Brazier, MP for Canterbury is NOT liberal! He is adamently against equal gay rights!

    Also as Chloe Smith is new to Parliament and a lot of Tories fail to turn up to vote, couldn’t this shape how liberal an MP is on this chart?

  • If the Tories on the list have bothered to turn up and vorte on the issues, showing they are concerned about them,then surely, in a commons where so many mps disgracefully absent themselves during parliamentary debates, they should be given credit where they have made their voices heard on the libertarian side.

    I can’t understand how Geoffrey can call Thatcher’s the most illiberal PM after the wholesale assault on liberty we have seen from New Labour under Blair and Brown-id cards, draconian smoke bans (most Tories voted against) , starting to remove jury trial (thgey will surely do this for rape cases if they stay in power), id cards, totalitarian anti terrorist legislation used to stifle dissent etc, curbs on free speech, a dangerous pictures and dangerous drawings act, laws for secret inquests, punishment without proven guilt (asbos etc), seizure of private assets, legislation for state agencies, to open private mail, massive databases.

  • Richard Shepherd is a good guy. I wish there were more like him in the previous parliament and best of luck to him on Thursday.

  • Julian Brazier is also pro-censorship; he proposed a law that would allow Parliament the power to ban films and computer games even for adults (even if the BBFC had allowed them) – (the MOJ report he refers to in that article was a rather biased study produced by the Government to support the dubious “extreme porn” law, Section 63, so hardly surprising they dug out all the anti-porn studies). Not exactly what I could call liberal – I guess these issues are way one must be careful of just looking at a handful of issues.

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