To mark the second anniversary of David Cameron’s leadership tomorrow, we’ve produced a short briefing paper, giving an analysis of the voting of his MPs over the last two years.
None of the overall figures for rebellion are especially worrying for the Conservative whips. Conservatives are currently rebelling less often than Labour MPs and in smaller numbers; although a slightly larger proportion of Conservative parliamentarians has rebelled compared to Labour, few of these have cast more than a handful of dissenting votes, and even the most rebellious would find himself high up the PLP’s league table of troublemakers.
But there have been some striking divisions on free votes, and we find that more than half of the 2005 intake have rebelled already.
There’s also some interesting stats on the stance of the Conservative frontbench – they allow nearly four-fifths of Government legislation through on-the-nod, without a vote at second or third reading. In this parliament, they’ve contested the principle of just 21% of government bills.
This is significantly down on the 32% average for the whole of the 2001 Parliament, which was itself down on the 41% in the 1997 Parliament. This downward trend began before David Cameron took office, but it has become much more noticeable under his leadership.