Rebellions have been more frequent in the early days of the coalition than at any period since World War 2, according to research published today by the Centre for British Politics at Nottingham University. There have been 59 rebellions in the last 110 votes, the Guardian reports this morning.
Researchers Mark Stuart and Professor Philip Cowley found that 89 coalition MPs had defied their party whips. Of these 67 were Tories. The 22 rebellious Lib Dems may not seen a very high figure but it is in fact 63 per cent of the Lib Dem backbench – which consists of just 35 MPs.
The high level of Tory dissent could reflect the fact that David Cameron’s patronage is limited by his having to give jobs to 22 Lib Dems.
Last week we noted several high-profile recent rebellions over Europe and cutting the ministerial payroll. Another one is likely this week (again over the EU) according to yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph.