10 Jul 2012 23:13:12

Sky News says 91 Conservative MP vote against Lords Reform Bill. That's bigger than the EU referendum revolt. Have half of all Tory backbenchers failed to support the Government?

By Paul Goodman
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11.30pm Update List of Conservative MPs who opposed Second Reading:

  1. Adam Afriyie
  2. David Amess
  3. Steve Baker
  4. John Baron
  5. Guto Bebb
  6. Andrew Bingham
  7. Brian Binley
  8. Bob Blackman
  9. Nicola Blackwood
  10. Graham Brady
  11. Angie Bray
  12. Julian Brazier
  13. Andrew Bridgen
  14. Steve Brine
  15. Conor Burns
  16. Dan Byles
  17. Alun Cairns
  18. Bill Cash
  19. Christopher Chope
  20. James Clappison
  21. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown
  22. Geoffrey Cox
  23. Tracey Crouch
  24. Philip Davies
  25. David Davis
  26. Nick De Bois
  27. Caroline Dinenage
  28. Nadine Dorries
  29. Richard Drax
  30. George Eustice
  31. Mike Freer
  32. Richard Fuller
  33. Zac Goldsmith
  34. James Gray
  35. Andew Griffiths
  36. Richard Harrington
  37. Simon Hart
  38. Sir Alan Haselhurst
  39. Philip Hollobone
  40. Adam Holloway
  41. Stewart Jackson
  42. Bernard Jenkin
  43. Gareth Johnson
  44. Chris Kelly
  45. Eleanor Laing
  46. Dr Phillip Lee
  47. Edward Leigh
  48. Charlotte Leslie
  49. Dr Julian Lewis
  50. Ian Liddell-Grainger
  51. Peter Lilley
  52. Jonathan Lord
  53. Karen Lumley
  54. Jason McCartney
  55. Karl McCartney
  56. Anne McIntosh
  57. Anne Main
  58. Louise Mensch
  59. Patrick Mercer
  60. Penny Mordaunt
  61. James Morris
  62. Jesse Norman
  63. David Nuttall
  64. Matthew Offord
  65. Mark Pawsey
  66. Andrew Percy
  67. Christopher Pincher
  68. John Redwood
  69. Jacob Rees Mogg
  70. Simon Reevel
  71. Sir Malcolm Rifkind
  72. Laurence Robertson
  73. Andrew Rossindell
  74. David Ruffley
  75. Richard Shepherd
  76. Nicholas Soames
  77. Bob Stewart
  78. Rory Stewart
  79. Gary Streeter
  80. Graham Stuart
  81. Sir Peter Tapsell
  82. David Tredinnick
  83. Andrew Tyrie
  84. Charles Walker
  85. Robin Walker
  86. Bob Walter
  87. Chris White
  88. John Whittingdale
  89. Nadhim Zahawi

Tellers: Peter Bone and Craig Whittaker.


The 91 figure comes from Sky News. It may not be quite right.  But we can be sure that the revolt against the bill has beaten last autumn's 82 votes for a EU referendum.

So how big a proportion of Conservative backbenchers is 91?

Let's work on the assumption that there are roughly 207 Tory backbenchers.  This is because there are 307 Conservative MPs in total.  At least 80 serve as Commons Ministers or Whips.  Add the Parliamentary Private Secretaries - there appears to be no complete record of them on the net - and one can't be far short of 100 members of the front bench.

So 91 is well over a third of all backbenchers and approaching half - 103 or so.

But wait.  91 is just the number that voted against the bill.  There will be abstentions as well.  So it's more likely than not that if one adds votes against to abstentions over half of all Tory backbenchers failed to support it.

And since some Ministers will have held their noses and voted for the bill it's fair to say that there's no consensus for it among the 307 Conservative MPs.

PPS Conor Burns resigned from the Government this afternoon and PPS Angie Bray has been sacked for voting against the bill.

25 Feb 2012 13:13:54

In the wake of Eric Joyce's arrest, is it time for a new understanding of MPs?

By Matthew Barrett
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COMMONS-sittingThere is a letter in today's Guardian from Adrian Yalland, a former approved Conservative candidate and now a lobbyist, which defends MPs in light of Eric Joyce's arrest for assault earlier this week. 

The crucial part of the letter is:

"As a result of the stress, many have an ambivalent attitude towards the job (both loving and hating it), drink too much, exercise too little, eat unhealthily, work too many hours, and end up in unfortunate situations. Many are lonely, unhappy and living in debt. But they cannot say so, because they would be misunderstood by the media and the electorate, and shown no sympathy because "many others want to do your job". The vast majority of MPs I know, across all parties, are motivated by a commitment to making this country better. Very few go into politics for an easy life or to get rich. But do we have to make it so manifestly difficult for them to do their job? In the end, it is we, the electorate, who suffer."

Yalland ends his letter by saying "it's surely time to support our MPs". But the question is whether MPs will receive support from people outside former Parliamentary candidates and the Westminster village.

If there were to be a re-examination of attitudes towards MPs from the public at large, it would be a sign that the 2010 intake has learnt the lessons of the last Parliament and is managing to change perceptions of this one. There is no sign of this happening at present, however.

23 Jul 2010 04:58:32

Bernard Jenkin tries to gather MPs' signatures on AV. The Whips try to stop him.

By Paul Goodman

Screen shot 2010-07-22 at 21.41.06 Bernard Jenkin, the 1922 Committee's point-man on the AV referendum, is collecting signatures for an Early Day Motion.  The EDM apparently questions the proposed timing of the poll.  Jenkin's not been backward in coming forward on the matter: he recently explained why, in his view, there should be a turnout threshold when the vote's held, and why holding it on the same day as the Scottish and Welsh elections would distort the result.

So far, so unexceptional: EDMs are the lowest form of Parliamentary life, and one more doesn't usually make much difference to anything (even when it's right, as this one seems to be).  But I gather from a furious member of the new intake that this one has seriously disturbed the Whips - who are trying to get MPs who've signed the EDM to remove their signature before it's tabled.

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