Record breaking rebels

Here’s our latest set of scores-on-the-doors, based on figures up to the end of the fourth session of this parliament, and as reported this morning by the Telegraph.

The headlines:

* Labour MPs defied their whips on 74 occasions, a rebellion in 30 percent of divisions, exactly the same as the preceding session’s figure.

* The Parliament as a whole is currently averaging a rate of 27 percent, on course to become the most rebellious in the post-war era. The current record is 21 percent, set by the 2001 Parliament.

* In absolute terms, that record has already been achieved; the 2005 Parliament has already seen more revolts against the whip by members of the governing party than any other post-war parliament.

* A total of 102 Labour MPs voted against their whips during the session; the total number of Labour rebels under Brown now stands at 137.

* Rebellion remains concentrated amongst a small group of Labour MPs. The top ten rebels in the 2008-09 session accounted for marginally under half (46%) of the total rebellious votes cast; the top 20 rebels accounted for exactly two-thirds (66%) of the total.

* John McDonnell took the top spot as the most rebellious Labour MP in the fourth session, clocking up 46 dissenting votes.

* He was closely followed by Jeremy Corbyn on 45. Corbyn’s total number of votes against the whip for the Brown administration alone has now passed the 100 mark, with more than 400 in total since 1997.

* The government suffered two defeats during the session as a result of its backbenchers defying the whip – on Gurkhas and Parliamentary Standards.

And one fact not in the paper: The Parliament as a whole has now seen six defeats, caused by backbench dissent, on whipped votes. No Parliament with a majority of over 60 has seen this many defeats in the post-war era.