How the MPC would have cast its votes

The Monetary Policy Committee (pictured from left) has in the past year presented an almost united front in keeping rates on hold at 4 per cent. All that changed yesterday, with most members believed to have supported a quarter-point cut.

Almost certainly

Charlie Bean, the Bank's chief economist, warned last year of a risk of house prices bottoming out but seems to have accepted that weakening demand is a bigger risk.

Almost certainly

Kate Barker, one of the independent members, was previously chief economic adviser to the Confederation of British Industry. Her preference for lower rates in the October 2002 MPC vote suggests she is sympathetic to industry's plight.

Very Unlikely

Sir Edward George's successor, Mervyn King, is probably the least happy member of the MPC today and the most likely to have held out against a rate cut. The most hawkish member, the Deputy Governor has argued against a change in rates on numerous occasions. Last year he told MPs UK interest rates may have bottomed at 4 per cent.

Certainly

Christopher Allsopp, the former Oxford don whose expertise is economic forecasting, has become a confirmed dove, joining the former MPC member Sushil Wadhwani on several occasions in calling for faster rate cuts. It is a dead certainty that Mr Allsopp will have argued again to slice interest rates.

Almost certainly

Sir Edward George, the Governor of the Bank of England, is thought to be the most high-profile switcher to the pro-cut camp. He has recently hit out at "gloomsters" emphasising the UK's economic woes. But the outgoing Governor appears to have decided to throw manufacturers a lifeline.

Quite Likely

Paul Tucker, appointed in June 2002 to replace Ian Plenderleith as the Bank of England's fourth representative on the MPC. Mr Tucker served as private secretary to the previous governor and has supported keeping rates on hold last year, but is expected to have followed the majority's shift in favour of a cut.

Quite likely

Marian Bell, another of the MPC's four independent members, was expected to be a mild "hawk". So far, however, she has voted with the consensus.

Quite likely

Sir Andrew Large, the veteran City banker, became a joint Deputy Governor in September. He was expected to follow the lead of the Governor, on this occasion for a cut.

Certainly

Steve Nickell expressed fears about how long the labour market can go on tightening without risking higher inflation. But last October, he moved in with the doves, becoming one of three members seeking a cut in interest rates.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments