Step aside whips: MPs should vote for what they believe in

Jeremy Corbyn in Parliament

A recent YouGov live poll suggests that the public think it is more democratic for MPs to vote for what they believe than follow a party whip system.

The live poll, conducted on the 4th September and weighted according to the Great British population, asked respondents the following question:

“In the House of Commons, the main parties use a system of ‘whipping’ which means MPs are encouraged, via a number of ways, to vote with their party, either in government or opposition. Which comes closest to your view?”

A total of 26% said they thought it was more democratic for MPs to vote with their party. In contrast, 45% said they thought it was more democratic for MPs to vote for what they think is right individually, as the public vote for MPs directly, rather than for a particular party. A further 29% said they did not know.

When it comes to party preference, respondents are split along some interesting lines.

Theresa May PM statement on Westminster attack

Labour voters, Lib Dem voters and SNP voters strongly believe that MPs should vote how they want to while UKIP and Tory voters are split down the middle.

43% of Conservative respondents said it is more democratic for MPs to vote along their party lines, slightly ahead of the 38% who said that MPs should vote how they like.

The full results of teh weighted YouGov Live poll can be accessed here.