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Technically, do we vote for MPs personally, or the party? watch

    • Thread Starter

    As in, if I vote for Jeff Smith, technically am I voting for Mr Jeff Smith the ex-DJ from Withington, or am I voting for the Labour party, and he is merely their representative? I know its both, but it most be one or the other officially.

    You are technically voting for the individual. Usually candidates stand on a party platform, and party logos are often inserted next to names on the ballot paper, but independent MPs have been elected in the past. Candidates who stand on party platforms will usually sit and vote with their party in the Commons, but lots of MPs rebel against the party whip occasionally, and you also get chronic mavericks (like Jeremy Corbyn used to be; now that he is leader, most of the Labour old guard will become the mavericks). There have even been cases of elected MPs who stood on a party platform 'crossing the floor' to another party, not the least famous example of which is Winston Churchill, who did it twice.

    This does make me wonder what would happen, though, if 650 independents were elected. How would a government and opposition be formed? The monarch would presumably have a constitutional crisis on their hands with not being able to rely on the convention of selecting the leader of the largest party to form a government, and instead having to pick one based on their own (or their advisors' ) subjective views and judgement.
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