‘Honoured that you are writing my father’s biography’ the late Tony Benn, ‘...wonderfully written’ Hilary Benn

‘Sparkles with fascinating detail…a remarkable story of Liberal and Labour politics in the first half of the twentieth century.’ Michael Crick, Political Correspondent, Channel 4 News

‘Casts much light both on the evolution of British radicalism, and on the legacy which he bequeathed to his son, Tony. Professor Vernon Bogdanor, King's College, London

‘Brilliant biography…wonderful reading about the father and...discovering more about the son.’ Steve Richards of The Independent

‘Well-written and carefully researched, this fascinating biography brings to life a major figure in British political history…an excellent job of weaving together the strands of a complex life…as well as filling in the background of the Benn family’ Richard Doherty, military historian

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Mark Reckless - almost an indentikit defector

Mark Reckless has become the second Conservative MP to defect to UKIP, less than a month after Douglas Carswell.

Historically, those MPs most likely to defect are those from a wealthy background, well-educated, from a minority religion within their party and those with military experience. Men have been more likely to defect that women (even after allowing for the greater numbers of male MPs). Divorced MPs have also been more likely to defect.

Most defections tend occur in election years (both before and after the election), at the end of coalitions and at times of rapidly fluctuating party fortunes.

Looking at the historical precedents, 2015 should be a year for defections, but they seem to have started a few months early.

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