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More Labour MPs have defied the whip than Conservatives and Lib Dems put together

By Matthew Barrett
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This Parliament has seen more rebellions than during the Major years. The 2010 intake has, in fact, been the most rebellious since 1945, as this graph below demonstrates:


We have regularly covered Conservative rebellions, on issues like European bailouts, recognising marriage in the tax system, or on law and order issues.

However, Philip Cowley and Mark Stuart of the Centre for British Politics at the University of Nottingham have a new post up on the NottsPolitics blog, which shows more Labour MPs have defied the whip than have Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs. 

Cowley and Stuart write:

"...119 Labour MPs have defied their party’s whip, more than the Conservatives and Lib Dems put together. On that measure, then, Labour are the most rebellious."

Other findings on Parliamentary rebellions by Cowley and Stuart include:
  • A total of 86 Conservative MPs have rebelled so far.
  • 30 Lib Dems have also rebelled.
  • The Labour MPs mentioned above make up 46% of their Parliamentary Party, which compares to 28% of the Conservative Parliamentary Party who have rebelled. However, 53% of Liberal Democrat MPs have rebelled at least once.
  • Cowley and Stuart write: "Labour MPs have rebelled in nearly 20% of all Commons divisions, almost identical to the Liberal Democrat rate of 19%, but far outstripped by the Conservative rate of 33%.  So, on that measure Conservative MPs are the most rebellious."
  • But: "...while Conservative MPs rebel more often, they do so in smaller numbers than Labour. The average Conservative rebellion consists of just seven MPs; the average Labour one comprises eight MPs. The average Lib Dem rebellion is just three MPs. So, on that measure Labour MPs are the most rebellious."

You can read the full post here


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