Withdrawal Agreement Bill Meaningful Vote

Johnston, R., Cowley, P., Pattie, C., & Stuart, M. (2002). Voting in the House of Representatives or courting voters at home: Labour MPs and the 2001 election campaign. The Journal of Legislative Studies, 8(2), 9-22. In a broader sense, the argument about the “significance” of this vote (and other important parliamentary votes on Brexit) is about the extent to which Parliament can comment on alternatives to passing the government deal. Proponents of a “meaningful vote” want Parliament to be involved in influencing what the government does when the House of Commons is not satisfied with the deal brought back from Brussels. Only about 7% of backbenchers who initially voted against the Withdrawal Agreement are now part of the Johnson cabinet. Given that this House has not yet reached a clear agreement on the ratification of our Withdrawal Agreement and that there is no certainty other than an extension until the 31st. I fear that the appropriate steps will now be taken to prepare for the increased likelihood that the default legal position will follow, and we will leave without an agreement on 31 October. LEAVE VOTE SHARE captures the (estimated) share of the electorate in each constituency that voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum.

Note: Data was retrieved in November 2018. Source: Hanretty, 2017 If we look at Table 3, we find that the four variables that capture personal preferences (REMAINING MP), professional concerns (JUNIOR MP and FRONTBENCH) and constituency preferences (LEAVE VOTE SHARE) are all strongly correlated with MPs` support for May`s deal. The effects are stable in all specifications when we add the control variables, with the exception of LEAVE VOTE SHARE, which is estimated very inaccurately in column (1) of the parsimonic specification. This is perhaps not so surprising because constituency-specific controls contain many of the variables – such as the unemployment rate and the proportion of highly educated residents in the constituency – that we know correlate with the proportion of Leave voters (see e.B Becker et al. 2017). In particular, we note that REMAIN MP and the two career concern variables JUNIOR MP and FRONTBENCH are positively correlated with the probability of voting for May`s deal, and that LEAVE VOTE SHARE is negatively correlated. In other words, MPs who voted and campaigned to leave the EU in the referendum were almost 40 percentage points more likely than other MPs to support May`s deal, while MPs representing constituencies with (one standard deviation) more Leave voters were 15 percentage points less likely to support the deal. Junior MPs who were aware of their career prospects under a May government were about 22 percentage points more likely to support his agreement, as were MPs sitting in government on the front bench (column (4)). In relative terms, ideology (as captured by the MEP`s revealed preference for EU membership) appears to be a factor about twice as important as career concerns and voter preferences.

In summary, we conclude that the rebellion did not come from MPs with strong career concerns. .