Explaining voting behaviour on free votes: Solely a matter of preference?

Christopher Raymond, Robert M. Worth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
562 Downloads (Pure)


While studies examining free votes find MPs’ preferences influence their voting behaviour, most studies also show MPs tend to divide along party lines even after the whips have been withdrawn. Recent work offers a possible alternative explanation for this finding: this sustained party cohesion represents the impact of MPs’ party identification similar to party identification effects in the electorate. This argument is tested using a series of free votes on same-sex relations. Even after controlling for preferences using several direct measures, party continues to shape voting behaviour. Although indirect, this provides evidence in favour of the party-asidentification argument. 
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Politics
Early online date12 Aug 2016
Publication statusEarly online date - 12 Aug 2016


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