The state of play

In April, we produced a conference paper, summarises and discussing the rebellions seen so far in Labour’s third term for the annual PSA conference. We’ve just updated it, for the biannual Conference of Parliamentarians and Parliamentary Scholars, which took place last weekend, and it’s available from here (pdf, 170k), and summarises the state of play by the summer recess.

The headline figures have not changed much. We are currently seeing a Labour rebellion in 27% of votes, higher than in any other first session since 1945, and higher than in 1992-3, when the Maastricht rebellions were causing John Major such headaches, when rebellions were running at 23%. The 80 separate backbench revolts, have involved 112 Labour MPs, nearly all of whom had rebelled against the Government before: the correlation between the number of votes cast against the whip in the last parliament and now is currently running at 0.91. Whatever else is going on, it is not an uprising of virgins.