Podcast: Escaping the partisan straitjacket

Who are parliament's political escapologists?
Who are parliament's political escapologists?
Alex Stevenson By

An attempt to find parliament's most liberated MP has led our experts to some revolutionary conclusions.

This month politics.co.uk has been working on an unusual project: a bid to find the MP most effective at breaking free of the party political straitjacket suffocating those at Westminster. Our jury found Douglas Carswell, Robert Halfon and Margaret Hodge to be among the most effective.

We've been talking to them about what it means to be an independent-minded MP in the 21st century – and getting to some pretty radical conclusions along the way. Their collective theory is that the internet and the gradual weakening of the party system is making the independence of ordinary MPs far more critical than before to their chances of saving their seat.

An interesting theory, anyway, and one we've been putting to some of the members of the jury which helped us along the way. We've got contributions from Stuart Wilks-Heeg, the executive director of Democratic Audit; Philip Cowley of the University of Nottingham; and Peter Facey, director of the campaigning group Unlock Democracy.

politics.co.uk's past podcasts are also available on iTunes.


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