Political

6 ways to spot a defector to/from the Liberal Democrats

Embed from Getty Images

Last year I reviewed Alun Wyburn-Powell’s comprehensive study of defectors to and from the Liberal and then Liberal Democrat parties. It’s a fascinating read.

Based on his unique database of such switches, he’s now pennedΒ a six-point guide to spotting a defector:

  1. Defectors more often defect for better prospects (53%) than over policy differences (43%) and rarely over a personality clash (just 3% of defections).
  2. Men are more likely to defect than women, after allowing for the greater number of male MPs.
  3. Divorced MPs are more likely to defect.
  4. MPs with a military background, especially those who achieved the highest ranks, were most likely to defect. Former teachers, farmers and ministers of religion were the least likely.
  5. Those from a minority religion within their party were more likely to defect.
  6. Richer MPs are more likely to defect than poorer ones. When they died, on average a defector left an estate worth Β£42,457, compared to the loyalists’ average of Β£28,919.

Of course past correlation doesn’t necessarily imply future causation, but it’s certainly a better starting point than the wild speculation which usually passes for punditry about possible future defections. Though remember also the four key rules of defections.

Advertisements

There is one comment

Share your views

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments and data you submit with them will be handled in line with the privacy and moderation policies.