Hated this Parliament? Well it seems it could have been worse

“…the 2005-2010 Parliament easily goes down as the most rebellious in the post-war period…

The 2005 Parliament which was prorogued this week – formal dissolution comes next week – will probably be remembered as the expenses parliament. But it holds one other distinction: as the most rebellious parliament of the post-war period.

The session that just ended, that of 2009-10, saw a total of 48 Labour rebellions, out of 135 divisions, a rate of 36%. In itself, this is the second highest final session since 1945, beaten only by the 39% achieved in 2004-05 session. (It is, for the record, also the highest fifth session, but since there aren’t many of them, it’s a pretty meaningless claim).

But when you add those 48 revolts to the 300+ that had occurred in the preceding four sessions, it means that the 2005-2010 Parliament easily goes down as the most rebellious in the post-war period, whether measured in absolute or relative terms.

Electionblog 2010 and has found that the superficially disciplined New Labour administration of the last 13 years has actually been notoriously prone to rebellion. [There’s a longer run project at Revolts.co.uk too.]

One thing this shows  is that there are still some decent people in parliament.

Perhaps worryingly, it also shows that this hellish parliament could have been a lot worse.

An honourary mention should go to Jeremy Corbyn MP who is now on record as the most rebellious Labour MP since 1997 – and hence probably ever.

This does put pay to the idea that modern politicians are uniquely supine and acquiescent to the administration. But, given the poor legislation that came out of this parliament – evidenced last night – I do wonder: what have these rebellions achieved?

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3 thoughts on “Hated this Parliament? Well it seems it could have been worse

  1. “given the poor legislation that came out of this parliament…I do wonder: what have these rebellions achieved?”

    Exactly what you would expect from an apparently schizophrenic party that has to sweeten and appease loads of different, even opposing factions: poor legislation.

    As we have seen recently not just in Britain, tweaking proposed legistlation here, there, and everywhere to capture handfuls of votes results in behemoth, leaky, poorly drafted, arbitrary, and unenforceable legislation. Oh well.

    1. I don’t think you can put the bad law down to appeasing rebellions, Labour has had huge, large and reasonable majorities.

      For example the digital economy bill wasn’t produced to sate some desire from the parliamentary party, it came from outside influence and the rebellion extracted relatively few concessions.

      I’d want to wait and see what comes from revolts.co.uk before passing judgement.

      [btw, its good to see you blogging again, two in one day!]

      1. True – sometimes they passed bad law because, well, just because they suck. As they say, just because lots of people agree about something doesn’t mean it’s a Good Thing.

        [thanks – been busy and slightly apathetic, but hopefully back on the horse now]

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