‘risk infecting our party with the kind of chancers and careerists who have ruined the other three big parties’.
Describing his new colleagues as ‘chancers and careerists’ may sound harsh, but history does support Cadman’s view. More defectors leave their old party for better prospects than for any other reason. Defectors, on average, do improve their career prospects, often at the expense of existing loyal members of their new party. Defectors also tend to be wealthier and better educated than loyalists, not necessarily endearing features in the eyes of their new colleagues.
The pattern of defections carries on, much as it has done for the last century, as charted in Defectors and the Liberal Party 1910-2010.