Why do interesting votes like those during the Report Stage and Third Reading of the Education and Inspections Bill have to take slap bang during the University marking season? It almost makes one want to join the AUT, just to boycott the marking, and have more time to focus on the rebellions. As a result, we’re slightly late producing two papers – one looking at large Third Reading rebellions and another on the MPs to watch. Both are coming soon.
But in the meantime, here are some key facts… The largest ever rebellion by Labour backbenchers against the third reading of one of their own government’s bills took place over the National Service Bill on 22 May 1947, and it involved 37 Labour MPs. (The largest Labour rebellion on Third Reading during the Blair period so far occurred on the Prevention of Terrorism Bill in February 2005, and it involved 30 MPs).
So if Wednesday’s Third Reading revolt consists of more than 30 Labour MPs, it will be the largest since Blair came to power.
More than 37 Labour MPs, and it will be the largest since Labour first entered Government in 1924.
And if it consists of more than 41 MPs, it’ll also be larger than the Conservative rebellion against the Third Reading of the Maastricht Bill, on 20 May 1993.