How the MPs are lining up (UPDATED)

by Stephen Tall on October 25, 2007

I’m grateful to Jonathan Isaby of The Daily Telegraph, who has compiled (and allowed me to reproduce here) his up-to-date list of which Lib Dem MPs have declared for which leadership candidate so far.

Jonathan comments: “Below are my most up-to-date lists, which suggest that Huhne now cannot possibly overtake Clegg in terms of MPs declaring. Brackets state where they went in the 2006 election.”

The list shows that Nick has attracted two MPs who supported Chris as leader in 2006: Greg Mulholland and Stephen Williams; and seven who supported Simon Hughes (all listed below). Chris has attracted one former Ming Campbell backer – Tom Brake – and two MPs who supported Simon Hughes last time.

Nine MPs have stated they will not declare for any candidate; 14 have yet to state their intentions.

As was pointed out in the comments on yesterday’s thread, the number of MPs who declare for any one candidate is, in one sense, irrelevant: we are a one-member-one-vote party. Clearly, however, MPs’ endorsements will carry some influence with party members, especially among non-activists.

It will also influence how the media perceives, and then reports, the strengths of the respective leadership campaigns. Though, of course, being seen as the favourite is not always the most comfortable of positions, as Ming Campbell discovered last time. Lib Dems do love an underdog.

Danny Alexander (Ming Campbell)
John Barrett (MC)
Colin Breed (MC)
Jeremy Browne (MC)
Malcolm Bruce (MC)
Alistair Carmichael (MC)
Ed Davey (MC)
Tim Farron (Simon Hughes)
Don Foster (MC)
Julia Goldsworthy (MC)
Mike Hancock (SH)
Nick Harvey (MC)
Mark Hunter (SH)
Paul Keetch (MC)
Norman Lamb (MC)
David Laws (MC)
Michael Moore (MC)
Greg Mulholland (Chris Huhne)
Mark Oaten
John Pugh (MC)
Willie Rennie
Paul Rowen (SH)
Robert Smith (MC)
Sarah Teather (MC)
Steve Webb (SH)
Stephen Williams (CH)
Phil Willis (SH)
Richard Younger-Ross (SH)

Tom Brake (MC)
Annette Brooke (SH)
Lynne Featherstone (CH)
Sandra Gidley (CH)
Paul Holmes (SH)
Martin Horwood (CH)
David Howarth (CH)
Susan Kramer (CH)
Mark Williams (CH)
Roger Williams (CH)

Paul Burstow (MC) – Chief Whip
Loreley Burt (CH) – Chair of the Parliamentary Party
Vincent Cable (MC) – Acting Leader
Menzies Campbell (MC) – Former Leader
Simon Hughes (SH) – Party President
Charles Kennedy – Former Leader
Bob Russell
Adrian Sanders (MC)
Jenny Willott (MC)

Norman Baker (MC)
Alan Beith
Andrew George (MC)
Evan Harris (SH)
David Heath
John Hemming (MC)
John Leech (CH)
Lembit Öpik
Alan Reid (MC)
Dan Rogerson (MC)
Andrew Stunell
Jo Swinson (MC)
John Thurso (MC)
Matthew Taylor (MC)

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A striking aspect of Chris’s support in his favour is that although Clegg nearly has three times as many supporters as him, Huhne has double the number of female supporters. Women account for 40% of his declared supporters and Chris will always have the upper hand in this battle as there is only one female undeclared that could possibly declare. To conclude, Chris is more popular than Nick with the ladies.

by Doug on October 25, 2007 at 3:40 pm. Reply #

John Hemming endorsed last time (in the end) Ming, so he should have MC in brackets.

by Anonymous on October 25, 2007 at 4:21 pm. Reply #

According to my calculations, 89% of Nick Clegg’s supporters have really poor judgement.

by Laurence Boyce on October 25, 2007 at 4:34 pm. Reply #

There is surely no reason as Chair of the Parliamentary Party or Party President you wont have to declare (you may chose not to). Paul Holmes was PLDP Chair last time and managed Simon’s campaign (better organised if not as successful as his previous attempt) and Simon of course was a candidate.

by Simon on October 25, 2007 at 4:41 pm. Reply #

According to my calculations, 100% of Chris Huhne’s supporters have really poor judgement.

by whelan on October 25, 2007 at 5:05 pm. Reply #

Doug, we only have 9 female MPs, of whom 4 have declared for Chris, 2 for Nick, 2 who won’t be declaring and 1 who hasn’t so far. I’d say its a bit of an exaggeration to say that anyone is ‘more popular with the ladies’

by Meral Ece on October 25, 2007 at 5:52 pm. Reply #

Yet factually correct on the basis of the evidence presented to us.

by Doug on October 25, 2007 at 6:12 pm. Reply #

Come on Lembit, time to give the kiss of death to one candidate or another!

by Martin Land on October 25, 2007 at 6:30 pm. Reply #

Sigh! It’s a toss-up whether this ‘contest’ is as exciting and inspiring as watching paint dry or watching grass grow. Though I would rather cut off my left arm (I’m left handed) than vote for Huhne, so I guess that’s my mind made up then….!

by Cathy on October 25, 2007 at 7:52 pm. Reply #

Why won’t Bob Russell declare? Is he a whip, too?

by Anonymous on October 25, 2007 at 10:33 pm. Reply #

2 – if you need corroboration, please see the archive of Ming’s campaign site here:

by Anonymous on October 25, 2007 at 10:37 pm. Reply #

Thanks – John Hemming’s 2006 preference for Ming duly noted.

by Stephen Tall on October 25, 2007 at 11:41 pm. Reply #

11. I bet there are a few people on that list who would rather not be reminded

by Peter Dunphy on October 27, 2007 at 5:23 pm. Reply #

13 – I still think that Ming was a great leader, who inspired at least my confidence. The way how media treated him was totally unfair.

(disclaimer: I am NOT a member of Lib Dems or any other party.)

by Anonymous on October 27, 2007 at 6:00 pm. Reply #

Good to see that Nick Assinder is trying to bring about a self-fulfilling-prophecy of ructions in the Leadership Contest…

by Bonkalot Jones on October 27, 2007 at 7:09 pm. Reply #

I will repeat myself; as I already said elsewhere, this contest must stop now.

Even if Chris Huhne were to win how can he lead with the active support of less than one in six of his colleagues, who presumably know him best?

He should withdraw now. I would say differently if there was any chance of a debate, but a six week contest with no differences in policy or opinion with one candidate shot below the waterline is a waste of time and money.

by Martin Land on October 28, 2007 at 11:09 am. Reply #


The day we 60,000 members lose our chance to elect our leader, just because 20 or so other members of the party in the Westminster bubble happen to think they know best, is the day I leave this party.

The bulk of the MPs got it wrong last time, who’s to say they haven’t got it wrong again.

by Sam on October 28, 2007 at 12:06 pm. Reply #

I think there might be an error on the time-stamp on Martin Land’s posting – surely it was made at 11.09pm (not am)just after a heavy session at the pub?

We are electing the leader of a whole party, not just a group of MPs. They will undoubtably influence the outcome but they should not determine it.

Many of the MPs backing Nick will be doing so from a strong conviction that he is the right person to lead the party. A few will be doing so as a career choice. But for many the decision will have been an extremely tight one and despite declaring for one candidate they will happily serve under the other if he was to win.

Contrary to Martin’s assertion, real differences are appearing in presentational and organisational style and policy substance between Chris and Nick.

The result of this leadership contest will influence the course of liberalism and the Liberal Democrats well beyond the decade or so that the winner can expect to serve as leader. I dont plan to let the choices of 60-odd MPs decide my vote.

by Ed on October 28, 2007 at 12:43 pm. Reply #

Martin’s wording is interesting “six of his colleagues, who presumably know him best?”
Given the tirade from many members that MPs have driven our last two leaders out of office (not true in Ming’s case in my opinion) are we just going to let MPs decided the comings and goings of leaders?
We should have more choice of contenders not less!
When Ed says “they will happily serve under the other if he was to win” I agree, indeed some on Nick’s team this time were on Chris’s team last time. They have had some sort of great enlightenment on the way. As Paul Walter says at“Up until now the LibDem leadership contest could be called the “fag paper” election – it has been very difficult to put a fag paper between the two candidates on most issues and criteria.”
But now some differences are opening up to offer the MEMBERSHIP a real choice.
I think you are in a minority of one on this Martin.

by Duncan on October 28, 2007 at 12:55 pm. Reply #

“They have had some sort of great enlightenment on the way”
…missing NOT

by Duncan on October 28, 2007 at 12:56 pm. Reply #

I’m always in a minority, Duncan. I don’t remember voting out Charles Kennedy. I didn’t vote in Ming Campbell, but then neither did I vote him out. This time, I suspect, I might be with the majority. I’m not voting at all!

by Martin Land on October 28, 2007 at 1:16 pm. Reply #

As a pointless protest at being given the right to vote for a new party leader?

by Duncan on October 28, 2007 at 1:29 pm. Reply #

It depends on your definition of pointless and in this case on your perception of choice. If we lived in a two party system, with Cameron and Brown promoting the same policies as each other, without the alternative of the Liberal Democrats, then I probably wouldn’t vote either. You think I’m in a minority of one; let’s see when the result is declared; I suspect I’ll be in a minority of 25-35% of the membership and that’s not counting the very large number who have made the more radical choice of not renewing their membership since the last leadership election. But, I’m already sufficiently bored to pledge not to comment anymore on this ‘election’.

by Martin Land on October 28, 2007 at 7:31 pm. Reply #

If Sarah Teather is backing Clegg, does anyone know why Sarah links to Chris

by Greg Lowis on November 5, 2007 at 4:58 pm. Reply #

could this be updated please?

by Anonymous on November 19, 2007 at 1:54 pm. Reply #

Greg @ 24 – that website looks like the work of a well-known cyber-squatter who’s registered the names of quite a number of Lib Dem MPs.

And yes, we could do with an update for this list – Simon Hughes, Jo Swinson, Alan Beith, Dan Rogerson and David Heath are supporting Clegg; Evan Harris is now supporting Huhne. I’m sure I’ll have missed some more as well.

by Joe Taylor on November 19, 2007 at 2:26 pm. Reply #

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