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Accounting for change in free vote outcomes in the House of Commons

Mughan, A. and Scully, Roger 1997. Accounting for change in free vote outcomes in the House of Commons. British Journal of Political Science 27 (4) , pp. 619-659. 10.1017/S0007123497230292

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Parliamentary decision making is a growth area in the study of the British House of Commons. This is a facet of the behaviour of Members of Parliament (MPs) that tended to be ignored as long as the Commons was seen as a legislature that, cravenly subject to party discipline, simply rubber-stamped policy decisions made by the party leadership. By the 1960s, cohesive party voting had reached the point where ‘it was so close to 100 per cent that there was no longer any point in measuring it’. But more recently, this image of the Commons and its members has worn at the edges. While party loyalty remains very much the norm, MPs have shown themselves more willing than in the past to assert themselves against their party's leadership in order to exercise greater policy influence. One prominent example is the select committee system set up in 1979 to improve parliamentary scrutiny of the executive. Another is the higher incidence of backbench rebellion and dissent in the division lobbies after the mid-1960s.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at (accessed 21/02/2014).
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 0007-1234
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:10

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