The past is another country…

After weeks of mind-blowing dullness, the only interesting vote of the entire Lisbon ratification is approaching. Most focus will be on whether the Government will be able to defeat calls for a referendum (answer:yes), whether they would still have won had the Lib Dems voted for a referendum instead of officially abstaining (answer: probably yes, although it might be a close run thing), along with discussion of the size of any splits within the various parliamentary parties (we expect to see proportionally larger splits within the Lib Dems than within Labour, which in turn will be larger than among the Conservatives).

There is, however, one other interesting angle to take, which is to compare the
stances taken by particular individuals in 1993 with those they will take in 2008. That’s what we do, in this short briefing paper (pdf, 35k). There could be up to 70 Conservative MPs voting for a position this week which is exactly the opposite of that they took on the Maastricht treaty.