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We continue our series, putting this year’s local elections under the magnifying glass to find changes and trends.
Most of the action has been over Covid-related divisions. And most of the dissenters are from older intakes.
The tellers for the Noes were Christopher Chope and Chris Green. The last major Tory rebellion against Government Covid policy was 53 strong.
They included seven former Cabinet Ministers, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee and the Chairman of the 1922 Executive Committee.
Philip Davies, a famously long-standing and committed Brexiteer, is among their number.
Nineteen Members of Parliament have so far declared publicly.
He regrets the resignation of IDS, condemns Liam Fox, and says the press has grotesquely exaggerated the Government’s difficulties.
The number was expected to be higher, but in the end the rebellion was smaller than anticipated.
Plus: Osborne squeezes the rich till their pips squeak. Prime Minister Corbyn, and other fantasises. Stephen McPartland has balls of steel. And: No breast jokes here.
Pledges on this scale cannot be delivered in this Commons without Conservative consensus. They can only be charmed – not bullied – onto the statute book.
The number of rebels has risen; it is concentrated among post-2005 intake Tories, and in seats that are either marginal or were until recently.
Tory MPs would have forced changes to Osborne’s tax credit plan in any event. Are they really up for the tough decisions that deficit reduction requires?
A handful of gains from the Liberal Democrats do little to disguise a total stalemate between Labour and the Tories in this region.
The fourth in our series investigates the East of England, where the minor parties are making their presence felt in a traditional Tory-Labour front.
Plus: This week’s focus groups in Stevenage and Southampton Itchen; the TV debates; and if the party leaders worked outside politics, what would they do?