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Conservative MP defects to UKIP

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posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 03:12 PM

The UK Independence Party has its first MP after former Conservative Bob Spink announced he is to join its ranks.

Mr Spink resigned the Tory whip last month in a row over apparent efforts by his local party to deselect him.

He claims the Conservatives have been "dishonest" over their Europe policies and says a by-election in his Castle Point constituency is unnecessary.

UKIP say they are "delighted" about their new recruit. Senior Tories say they are "relaxed" about the move.

Mr Spink said he had decided to leave the Conservatives after years of being "disenchanted" with the party.

BBC News

This is the third MP in a year to lose the Tory whip (the others being Derek Conway, over the cash to his sons and Andrew Pelling, for allegedly assaulting his wife. Quentin Davis also left the Conservatives to defect to Labour last year).

It raises a few questions, perhaps the most obvious being... if an MP changes party whilst in office, should it trigger an immediate by-election in their constituency?

EDIT: Forgot to add the source.

[edit on 22/4/08 by Ste2652]

posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 03:20 PM
I believe there should be another by-election if an MP moves to another political group. They should resign first and then stand again under their new banner.
None of them do of course, they still want their noses in the trough.

posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 03:57 PM
Let me get this straight.

After he was deselected (presumably because he was crap or they had someone better) he resigned in a fit of pique and joined UKIP in the hope that this would keep him his seat, in the next election.

In other words, he's relying on having a well known face rather than having any coherent, workable policies.

Yes, there should be a by-election.

Disclaimer: "CRAP" covers a multitude of sins...

[edit on 22/4/2008 by budski]

posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 04:15 PM
On the question of a by-election, begs the question. We elect the person and not the party they stands for.

But you can guess that it is unlikely Bob Spink will be re-elected.

posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 04:22 PM
Freedom ERP is right. It is a common misconception that when you vote for an MP, you vote for the party. Political Party's have no recognition in Parliament, so when you vote, you vote for your representative.

Thus, no by-election is needed. Even if the constituents voted for "conservative" instead of the candidate, that's their own fault for misunderstanding the system. They elected him to be their representative until the next General Election and as such, there is no grounds for a by-election.

posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 05:41 PM
reply to post by stumason

Indeed, this is true. But with the weight that the current party system holds, one can be forgiven for voting along party lines rather than personal lines I think. There have been numerous studies into why people vote in the way that they do, and the majority of people don't vote rationally (i.e. who would best represent them in Parliament), but are more likely to vote for someone because they're a member of a particular party. It's also pretty surprising how many people 'inherit' their politics from their parents... many children vote the way their parents do, and obviously you have regional differences too (some seats would elect a donkey if you stuck the right coloured rosette on it).

I don't think this is as clear cut as it seems, because it could signal a shift in ideology in the candidate (which, perhaps, means your representative no longer represents you)... if a Labour MP were to defect to the Communist Party, would that warrant a by-election? It's a pretty significant shift to the left. You could argue the same way about Quentin Davis when he defected from the Tories to Labour... did his personal ideology change? Does that (rather than a change of party) warrant a by-election?

It does just seem to be a Tory MP being petty at being deselected in this case, and - as Freedom ERP says - it's unlikely he'll be re-elected in 2009/2010. Part of me expects Labour to be all over this one, trying to highlight cracks in the Conservative Party. But another part of me wonders if they'll be able to get their act together enough to even try to do so in the first place...

posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 05:58 PM
reply to post by Ste2652


Legally there is no obligation for a by-election.

Morally, there ought to be one.

posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 06:14 PM
(psssssssst.) shhhhh. ( looks both ways) guys, where can I lurk more to learn about England politics like this from the grassroots perspective?
...also, while we are talking in this alley, is an American law degree worth anything in England? ........I think someone is coming...."God Bless America...home of the...."

posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 06:57 PM
Right here in these forums, friend! It was a bit easier to single out the UK only threads in the days of PTS, but keep your eyes peeled as you might be lucky enough for one of us to post a few threads from days gone by.....

As for your degree, I'd imagine it would be worth something, but exactly what, I'm not sure....

posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 02:56 AM

Originally posted by stumason
As for your degree, I'd imagine it would be worth something, but exactly what, I'm not sure....

Packet of Salt and Vinegar crisps and a pint of Theakstons Old Peculiar?

Actually, US law - like most modern legal systems - has its basis in UK law, but there are many differences because we are subjects as opposed to citizens.

Swapping over from one ot the other would require a big change in Res's way of thinking.

posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 09:24 AM
reply to post by neformore

I'm sure our legal system is ridiculously complicated compared with the American one... if our constitution is anything to go by, anyway!

I thought the British Nationality Act 1981 abolished the status of 'subject' and made everyone British Citizens? Check your passport - you'll be listed as either a British Citizen, British National or something similar (depending on your circumstances).

posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 05:57 AM
Just listened to The Above Politics show and this thread got a big mention!!

and I would agree with what Martin said. Will Bob Spink be re-elected at the next general election. Very little chance. You can be sure that UKIP will milk this for all it is worth.

And could this move encourage others in the Tory party on the right, with big concerns over Europe to move?

posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 09:01 AM
No I dont think so.

This bloke crossed over to UKIP because he was about to be thrown out of the Conservative party anyway.

I wouldnt be surprised to see Derek Conway moving to UKIP too.

Good riddance, it would be as well.

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