Should MPs who defect parties hold a by-election? Watch

Poll: Should MPs who defect parties hold a by-election?
Yes (13)
54.17%
No. (11)
45.83%
Andrew97
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#1
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Recently with the Brexit issue and antsemtistm in the Labour Party we have had numerous MPs defecting parties.
Under the current rules MPs keep their seat which is transferred to the new party.

Do we think this is fair? Take for example Luciana Berger, Mp for Liverpool Wavertree. Elected as a Labour MP by a majority of 67.5%. She now sits as a Lib Dem (after a stint in Change U.K.) only 6.5% of that constituency voted for a Lib Dem in 2017.

In 2014 Douglas Carswell held a by-election when he defected to UKIP.

Often, we hear on the news channels MPs saying that we should have a second ref because “something has changed, or the British people did not vote for this” amongst other reasons. Can this argument be extended to constituencies?

What do you think?
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Connor27
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#2
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Yes, it comes down to an issue of mandates. MPs are elected on a party platform with a specific manifesto; when they defect, they are completely reneging upon and abandoning that platform that the electorate identified them with for another platform. As such, a By Election is entirely appropriate to renew their now void mandate.
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TheRadishPrince
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I don't think it's always necessary as the argument exists that you vote for a representative in Parliament just as much as you do a party. That representative decided that the best course of action is to defect and is representing their community doing so.
Last edited by TheRadishPrince; 4 weeks ago
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SteveyStack
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(Original post by Andrew97)
Recently with the Brexit issue and antsemtistm in the Labour Party we have had numerous MPs defecting parties.
Under the current rules MPs keep their seat which is transferred to the new party.

Do we think this is fair? Take for example Luciana Berger, Mp for Liverpool Wavertree. Elected as a Labour MP by a majority of 67.5%. She now sits as a Lib Dem (after a stint in Change U.K.) only 6.5% of that constituency voted for a Lib Dem in 2017.

In 2014 Douglas Carswell held a by-election when he defected to UKIP.

Often, we hear on the news channels MPs saying that we should have a second ref because “something has changed, or the British people did not vote for this” amongst other reasons. Can this argument be extended to constituencies?

What do you think?
They are a bunch of hypocrites as they were elected on a manifesto which supported brexit and are now campaigning against it.

Should they have a by-election yes! Will they, no!

In all fairness politics over the last few years is full of hypocrisies and this is just another one. I do think it’s outrageous anyone can campaign against brexit of all forms having been elected under a manifesto of getting brexit over the line though.
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SteveyStack
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(Original post by TheRadishPrince)
I don't think it's always necessary as the argument exists that you vote for a representative in Parliament just as much as you do a party. That representative decided that the best course of action is to defect.

And if the people want an election that badly they can create a petition to remove them so it's not like they're forced to keep the MP anyway by-election or not.
I would agree if they stood for similar things but some of them have left and now go against what they were elected on.

If for example some of them couldn’t back no deal but joined a party (or made one) supporting a deal then I could see the point. Otherwise they are hypocrites
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barnetlad
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If we did this, I think there would be more bullying of MPs by their constituency parties. We elect a representative, not a delegate.

If we did this, there is an argument for about 290 by-elections, given that the party led by Mr Johnson is not the Conservative Party other than in name any more.
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Andrew97
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(Original post by TheRadishPrince)
I don't think it's always necessary as the argument exists that you vote for a representative in Parliament just as much as you do a party. That representative decided that the best course of action is to defect.

And if the people want an election that badly they can create a petition to remove them so it's not like they're forced to keep the MP anyway by-election or not.
While some people do vote for a person rather than a party, many vote for a party. In these safe seats people vote for the winning party regardless of name on the ballot paper.

Recall petitions cannot be started by constituents and they only come into force if the MP has broken the law.

Should the MP not just call a by-election anyway?
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Connor27
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(Original post by TheRadishPrince)
I don't think it's always necessary as the argument exists that you vote for a representative in Parliament just as much as you do a party. That representative decided that the best course of action is to defect.

And if the people want an election that badly they can create a petition to remove them so it's not like they're forced to keep the MP anyway by-election or not.
That is false - recall petitions can only be used under very specific circumstances where an MP has committed a crime.
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MaxReid
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Sarah Wollaston should because she has said that MP who defect should seek a new mandate.

I think the American system of recall elections is a good one, and should be used here when MPs defect.

What's funny is Luciana Berger and Chuka Umunna won their seats in 2010 by beating the parties they're in now!
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Aph
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When you vote are you voting for the party or for an individual representative? Legally you vote for the person in which case no they shouldn’t, if you want to trigger by-elections then you are accepting the de facto case that actually people are voting for parties and not individuals (unless they vote for an independent) if you do this then I think you should go the whole hog and change to proportional representation, in which case this isn’t an issue because seats are held by the party.

So basically no.
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SteveyStack
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They haven’t broken the law though. Also they have lied to their constituents if they do the opposite of what they said they would do. It would be right to stand in a by-election but we all know they won’t
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mnot
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(Original post by Andrew97)
Recently with the Brexit issue and antsemtistm in the Labour Party we have had numerous MPs defecting parties.
Under the current rules MPs keep their seat which is transferred to the new party.

Do we think this is fair? Take for example Luciana Berger, Mp for Liverpool Wavertree. Elected as a Labour MP by a majority of 67.5%. She now sits as a Lib Dem (after a stint in Change U.K.) only 6.5% of that constituency voted for a Lib Dem in 2017.

In 2014 Douglas Carswell held a by-election when he defected to UKIP.

Often, we hear on the news channels MPs saying that we should have a second ref because “something has changed, or the British people did not vote for this” amongst other reasons. Can this argument be extended to constituencies?

What do you think?
The current stack of MPs are a disgrace, none of them give 2💩about what they were elected to do, none of them care about the mandates or campaigns or what their electorate wants.

But I think it seems resonable if you move party, then a by election is triggered within 6 months (only exception being if were closing in on a general election).

I voted remain in 2016, and think we need to leave now, im sick of this bunch of mp's, sick of brexit. Im glad boris is trying to get stuff done, I think labours position is a joke: negotiate a deal only to run against it? How can you take these people seriously when there basically saying we'll negotiate the ****est deal possible so we have to stay, and they think were all stupid and wont see through it. Morons, need to be replaced.
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Prussianxo
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No, you vote for the MP not the party
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CatusStarbright
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#14
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We don't require prime ministers who haven't won an election to hold one to 'renew their mandate', so MPs should not be required to do so either.
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mnot
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(Original post by Prussianxo)
No, you vote for the MP not the party
You vote for both, and often in some seats you barely here about the MP, the campaigns are solely based on the party. There are clearly cases where MP's get elected running the national party manifesto pledged, and barely mention there own name.
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04MR17
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(Original post by barnetlad)
We elect a representative, not a delegate.
I agree. The constituents in Wavertree didn't simply vote Labour, they voted for Luciana Berger who was a member of the Labour party and stood on a Labour platform at the time. The system was created as so, well before national party conformity was really a thing. I'd prefer to see all of these defections instead translate to independents rather than jumping ship to another party.
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Rakas21
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As a broad brush approach I am going to say No however that is mainly because I believe in the repeal of the fixed terms act and as alluded to in earlier posts, it would be more prudent to amend the recall act to include defection. It should be for their constituents to decide, not the state.
Last edited by Rakas21; 4 weeks ago
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Prussianxo
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#18
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(Original post by mnot)
You vote for both, and often in some seats you barely here about the MP, the campaigns are solely based on the party. There are clearly cases where MP's get elected running the national party manifesto pledged, and barely mention there own name.
Well then 'technically' you're meant to vote for MP. If we voted for both the MP and the party we would use a different electoral system that has 2 votes, one for the candidate and one for the party. I'm not saying people base they're decision on their MP but that's what they should do.
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TheRadishPrince
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#19
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Connor27 Andrew97 - Thanks for clarifying my misunderstanding, the original post has been edited accordingly.

I do still believe that the best course of action is to allow the MP to serve the term they were elected for in order to achieve their goals in Parliament and the community and then have a General Election to let the people decide, after serving their time and being allowed to settle into their new party, if they would like to keep that MP. This prevents an MP being taken down by the negative press of them defecting before they have a chance to even do anything for their people in their new party to show their decision could be good for the constituency.

As much as it can be argued that we vote for a party or a Prime Minister more than an MP, the MP candidates are the ones whose names are on the ballot paper and them winning gives them legal backing to hold the role until another election occurs. Am I against calling a by-election if the elected representative decided it was best for their constituents? Not at all. Should they need to? Also no.
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centraltrains
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Yes, but not until we first switch to a more proportional voting system such as using the method used for EU elections.
The current system we vote for a representative rather than a party, even if that's not really the case, because the system should reflect the party system properly, which the EU type does.
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