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Revolts Special Edition

During the last decade or so Philip Cowley, together with Mark Stuart, has helped promote a better understanding of the dynamics of party cohesion within the House of Commons in a number of informative books and through the Revolts website.

Over the last few weeks we have published some of their research into how MPs have responded to first peacetime coalition since 1945, one which has formally united Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs behind a common programme despite their many differences.

The Revolting Coalition indicates that, in this Parliament, rebellion on the government benches has now almost become the norm.

That point is elaborated in Rebels and causes, which points out that the Conservative-led coalition has suffered a unique number of rebellions for a government during its first session.

Labour slackers beware suggests that Opposition whips might have learned a lesson from their troubled time in government when they tightened up sanctions available to them to discipline recalcitrant Labour MPs.

There has been one vote on which the year-old government achieved near unanimity – not only on its own side but across the House: the vote on military action in Libya. How 2 turn 139 into 1, in 8 compares this vote with the one taken over Britain’s participation in the invasion of Iraq.

Finally, as Conservative military manoeuvres shows, the voting record of Conservative MPs over proposed military action has long been very consistent – they approve of it.

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