How Liberal / Authoritarian is your MP: how the parties compare

by Stephen Tall on March 19, 2010

Lib Dem Voice launched our new website – How Liberal / Authoritarian is your MP? – at the party’s spring conference last weekend.

LDV has identified 10 key votes from the 2005-10 Parliament – ranging from ID cards and freedom of speech to freedom of information and trial without jury – in order to rank all MPs according to how liberal or authoritarian their record is. All MPs are marked out of 100: the higher their score the more authoritarian they are. The lower their score the more liberal is their voting record.

On Wednesday, Lib Dem blogger James Graham posed the question, “Have you calculated what the average score for each party is?” Well, today, James, your luck is in. Here are the mean scores for all the political parties represented in the 2005-10 Parliament:

    Labour = 79
    SDLP = 63
    UUP = 35
    Sinn Fein = 27
    Respect = 21
    DUP = 15
    SNP = 13
    Independent = 12
    Plaid Cymru = 8
    Conservative = 7
    Liberal Democrats = 3

This confirms the Liberal Democrats as the most liberal party in the House of Commons when measured according to the party’s voting record on a range of key liberal/authoritarian issues.

Unsurprisingly, Labour’s allies in Northern Ireland, the SDLP, are the second most authoritarian party. Sinn Fein and the UUP are quite closely matched in terms of their views on liberal / authoritarian issues, together with George Galloway of Respect.

I’ve treated the Independents as a group because of how they’re categorised. In reality, though, the seven MPs have little in common, ranging from Old Labour’s Bob Wareing and Clare Short to former Tories Bob Spink and Derek Conway. It’s worth noting that the two Independent MPs elected as Independents – Dai Davies and Richard Taylor – both have impeccably liberal credentials, scoring zero.

Do please use How Liberal / Authoritarian is your MP? and its built-in social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook to spread the news about how liberal or authoritarian your MP is.