The logic of parliamentary action: Brexit, Early Day Motions, and bolstering the personal vote
Parker, David C. W.
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More than 300 Members of Parliament (MPs) found themselves in an awkward position after the vote on Britain’s membership in the EU: They had taken a public stance on Brexit in opposition to their constituents. We investigate whether MPs attempted to bolster their personal vote in response and if this provided electoral protection. Using Early Day Motions (EDMs), we find that MPs supporting Leave in Remain constituencies sponsored more EDMs after Brexit but were also more likely to lose re-election in 2017. Remain supporting MPs in Leave constituencies switched their position on Brexit when voting to trigger Article 50, but did not sponsor more EDMs post-Brexit and did not lose disproportionately compared to Brexit-aligned MPs. We conclude by considering whether the value of the personal vote and incumbency may have declined as affective polarization (Mason, 2018) among the British electorate may be on the rise during the era of Brexit.
David C. W. Parker & Ian Caltabiano (2020) The logic of parliamentary action: Brexit, Early Day Motions, and bolstering the personal vote, The Journal of Legislative Studies, DOI: 10.1080/13572334.2020.1831128