Order, order! Why the newest Tories are a major headache for Cameron

Analysis of most rebellious MPs finds Class of 2010 defies PM more than any other

More than half of the Conservative rebels who have defied David Cameron to vote against the Coalition Government were elected as MPs only last year.

The so-called "class of 2010" is playing a central role in the simmering discontent facing the Prime Minister on a range of issues, a study next month will disclose. The Government has suffered a revolt in 43 per cent of Commons divisions between the general election in May 2010 and Christmas 2011, by far the highest rate in modern times. Tories have rebelled in 31 per cent of votes. Particularly worrying for Mr Cameron is that more than half of the Conservative rebels have been "newbie" MPs, voting 340 times against their leader.

One new MP, David Nuttall, who led demands for a referendum on the terms of Britain's membership of the European Union, has voted against the Government no fewer than 63 times since he arrived in Parliament 19 months ago. Two others – Andrew Percy and Mark Reckless – have also defied the Whips on more than 20 occasions.

The study by the University of Nottingham says MPs have become more rebellious and independent-minded in recent years. The Parliaments elected in 2001 and 2005 produced record numbers of revolts, but the 2010 Parliament is already "easily outstripping" them, say Philip Cowley and Mark Stuart, who conducted the research.

They say the 43 per cent rebellion rate is "simply without parallel in the post-war era", and is even more dramatic because the Parliament is still in its early stages, when new MPs tend to be more acquiescent. "One of the most noticeable features about the 2010 cohort, especially on the Conservative side, is how troublesome they have been," the authors say.

"Over time the ranks of the rebellious new MPs will swell, unless the Government can create a raft of new jobs to keep its backbenchers occupied. We find it difficult to imagine the rate of rebellion remaining quite so high over the entire Parliament – the Whips will certainly hope not – but in parliamentary terms the Government needs to brace itself."

The most prolific rebel has been Philip Hollobone, the MP for Kettering, who has opposed the Government 87 times, or in 20 per cent of all votes. Many of the Tory revolts have been over Europe, or over constitutional policy, such as legislation for establishing fixed-term parliaments or last year's referendum on electoral reform. The scale of Liberal Democrat disquiet over wider areas of Coalition policy is also exposed by the survey.

It found that Nick Clegg's MPs have rebelled in 21 per cent of divisions. Only one of the party's "non-payroll vote" has stayed loyal at every division, the former chief secretary to the Treasury, David Laws.

Their rebellions have tended to be on social policy, with revolts against moves to raise university tuition fees, increase the rate of VAT and introduce free schools.

The class of 2010: New Tory rebels

1. David Nuttall (Bury North): Ex-solicitor who vowed to be a "strong and independent advocate for my constituents". As the most prolific new rebel, he's lived up to his words. Led the revolt for a referendum on the EU.

Acts of rebellion: 63

2. Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole): The former school teacher was a fierce critic of the decision to raise tuition fees, warning it would deter youngsters from poorer backgrounds from applying to university.

Acts of rebellion: 27

3. Mark Reckless (Rochester and Strood): A former economist who led opposition to any suggestion that the UK should contribute to a bailout of the eurozone. Also voted against increasing tuition fees.

Acts of rebellion: 23

4. Zac Goldsmith (Richmond Park): One of the best-known of the new intake, he is also proving a free spirit. David Cameron withdrew an offer to make him a 'green envoy' after he backed calls for a referendum on the EU.

Acts of rebellion: 19

5. Steve Baker (Wycombe): Says he is proud of his reputation as a rebel, he was among the supporters of an EU referendum. He is a strong critic of plans to build a high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham.

Acts of rebellion: 15

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world