By Jonathan Isaby
Earlier in the week I concluded that of the 147 new Conservative MPs elected for the first time last year, those 38 who had been on the party's original "priority list" of 100 candidates were more likely to have been appointed parliamentary private secretaries.
I have now taken a look at how rebellious those 38 have been, compared to the rest of the 2010 intake and the conclusions are even clearer.
Of the 38 A-Listers, eight – equivalent to 21% – have voted against the whip on substantive government matters (i.e. not including Private Member's Business, Ten Minute Rule Bills, procedural and programme motions and House of Commons business). However, as the list below demonstrates, six of those eight have only rebelled on a single occasion:
The other 30 A-Listers have never voted in a lobby against the Government on government business.
However, of the 109 non-A-Listers, 32 – equivalent to 29% – have actively voted against the Government, with nearly half of those having done so on more than one occasion. They are:
The remaining 77 of the 2010 intake have not defied the Tory whip on substantive government business.
I guess it shouldn't be too surprising that the those who the party was keenest to get into the Commons have on the whole been less likely to vote against the party establishment.
However, it is interesting to look at the statistics when taking into account votes on Private Member's Bills, Ten Minute Rule Bills and other matters where the Government does not formally whip backbenchers, but where the Government either abstains or all ministers and whips voting on supposedly free votes all vote the same way.
Only 2 of the 38 A-Listers have completely unblemished records, i.e. have only ever voted in a division lobby with ministers and whips for company, namely:
But, interestingly, there is a far larger proportion of the non-A-Listers – 22 of the 109 – who have managed the same feat: