Fraser Nelson

A lesson for all new MPs

A lesson for all new MPs
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Ed Miliband has given a surprisingly good speech this morning: free from all the junk language that his older brother has a weakness for. But he raises an interesting question:

Why did Gisela Stuart win in Birmingham Edgbaston?

Why did Karen Buck win Westminster North?

Why did Andy Slaughter win in Hammersmith?


"democratic deficit"

"entire year"

There was no uniform swing on election night. The British electorate rendered redundant the BBC swingometers. It was a victory for principled politics. Being a rebel, rejecting the party machine, seemed to protect you. Graham Brady, the only Tory to resign over a Cameron policy, almost doubled his majority and may well be elected to the chairmanship of the 1922 Committee (ie, chair of the Tory backbenchers) next week.

All this will serve to make life difficult for the whips in this coalition. Ms Stuart has herself issued advice to new MPs - many of whom will be very interested to learn the art of defending a seat with a small majority:

"Beware when a whip comes up to you and with a big smile, makes a friendly and helpful suggestion. Just ask yourself: why me and why now. If you can be bullied, you will be bullied. If you can be bought, you will be bought. If you stick to your guns, then they will respect you. But don't expect too many favours."

UPDATE: I have corrected the line about H&F council and their tenancy: this was a Labour accusation. But some of those involved in Shaun Bailey’s campaign certainly feel that the council’s intervention on this issue was unhelpful, and open to the misrepresentation Labour put on it. Their council’s response is here.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.