“…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?