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Tories under Cameron less likely to vote against principle of Labour legislation

Philip Cowley and Mark Stuart of Nottingham University (and the excellent Revolts.co.uk website) have analysed voting patterns in recent parliaments and notice a decline in the willingness of the Tory opposition to vote against the principle of Government legislation:

Screen shot 2010-01-09 at 10.30.14 In a briefing note, (PDF here) Cowley and Stuart write:

"The data show a parliament-by-parliament decline in the propensity of the Official Opposition to object to the principle of government legislation. William Hague’s Conservative Party voted against the principle of about two out of every five bills. Under IDS and Michael Howard that fell slightly, to just under one in three. But under David Cameron it has fallen yet further, down to just one out of every five pieces of government legislation."

An explation for the decline was given by an unnamed "senior Tory MP" to The Times:

“Cameron is forever on the lookout for a Brown dastardly plot. He wants to manoeuvre us into a position where we are seen to be voting against motherhood and apple pie. So rather than vote against the Bill as a whole we try to change it later. There is a lot in the Equality Bill that we did not like at all, but they would have loved it had we been put in a position where we were opposing equality. Brown has also been trying to get us to oppose the 50p tax rate. But we won’t play his game.”

Tim Montgomerie


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