Liam Byrne, both hair, and vote, MIA

So the NHS opposition day went as expected, lots of hyperbole, not much rational debate. A Labour defeat.

What was a little odd, however, was that both the Opposition and Government figures looked a little deflated. With a result of 260 opposition Ayes v 314 Government No’s both sides could and should have had more votes.

My initial reaction was that about a dozen Labour MPs probably didn’t show up but the scale of the government collapse (There are 363 Government MPs) suggested some major Lib Dem rebellion or mass abstention.

Having gone through each individual MP and crunched the numbers for the Amendment vote, however, it seems that something rather odd happened. 13 Labour MPs and 8 Lib Dem MPs appear to have missed the vote altogether, depressing the anti NHS case, whilst 7 Lib Dems voted for the amendment, but there are far more Tory MPs AWOL, 34 in total.

The numbers shift around a bit when you account for Government Ministers. a Massive 17 Conservative and 2 Lib Dem ministers didn’t vote: David Cameron, William Hague and George Osborne are in the States but Anne Milton (Who is parliamentary under-secretary of state for health) is a surprise absentee.

Unless we’re looking at the biggest walk out since humanity first moved out of Africa, however, they can be presumed to have been on government business and excused. But that still leaves some 23 government backbench MPs, 17 Tory, 6 Lib Dem, not voting with the government.

This does pose an interesting question. First – where the hell were the 13 Labour MPs? The most prominent of them was Liam Byrne, shadow Spokesperson for Work and Pensions.

Liam is, apparently, the most unpopular shadow cabinet member for two months running  and missing his parties key health bill vote is hardly going to endear him to Labour grass roots. Labours Ann Begg MP (who I’ve not included) missed the vote because she took a fall, was hospitalised and is recovering at home, Liam’s excuse better be as good.

The second of course is; where the hell were the Tories? Perhaps the 17 backbench Tories and 14 Ministers in the country were having a good supper and Port? It is possible they were paired with other MPs, but, of course its also feasible that some of their number are not happy with the health bill and decided to sit on their hands.

With 254 whipped Labour MPs (Whilst 258 were elected one has resigned, two have had the whip removed and 1 is ill) and 7 Lib Dem rebels those 13 absentee Labour MPs were masked by minority parties. 5 DUP, 5 SNP and 1 each SDLP, Alliance and Green voted for the amendment, whilst  2 SDLP, 3 Plaid, 1 SNP 3 DUP and one Independent didn’t vote.

What that means is, had the 13 absentee Labour and 10 Minority MPs bothered to vote the opposition would have hit 283 leaving a deficit of only 31.

There were, for those keeping up, 23 government backbench abstentions. Not enough to win, but enough to make it squeaky bum time.

I’ve been saying ever since Eoin Clarke, by some miracle, got the baying, yet, wonderful, Great British Public at large to hammer the inboxs of Lib Dem MPs, that his campaign was misguided and doomed to failure.

By flooding inboxes it does more to piss off Lib Dem MPs than persuade them. By ignoring the Tories there is no pressure on the Conservative Secretary of State from his own party. By ignoring minority parties (and Labour absentees he’s  ensured a majority against the bill in the Commons is hard, if not impossible to reach.

I really hate a badly run campaign and people being misled into thinking they’ve made a difference, when what they’ve signed up to is so incompetent Newt Gingrich could do a better Job, makes my blood boil.

Therefore, I’m going to leave the list of 46 backbench MPs who didn’t turn up to yesterday’s vote lying around at the end of this blog post. I’m going to colour code it to make it easy to read. I’m going to let you decide what you want to do with it and point out that if they had all rebelled yesterday’s vote would have been 306 Ayes and 314 Noes. Suffice to say I expect nothing will happen…. Ce’st la vie.

*Edit – have removed Annette Brooke as I’m told she is is in hospital with a broken hip and wrist – get well soon.

Baron, John

Conservative Party

Clappison, James

Conservative Party

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Conservative Party

Davies, Philip

Conservative Party

Fuller, Richard

Conservative Party

Garnier, Mark

Conservative Party

Harrington, Richard

Conservative Party

Haselhurst, Sir Alan

Conservative Party

Holloway, Adam

Conservative Party

Latham, Pauline

Conservative Party

Lefroy, Jeremy

Conservative Party

McCartney, Jason

Conservative Party

Mercer, Patrick

Conservative Party

Reevell, Simon

Conservative Party

Robertson, Laurence

Conservative Party

Tyrie, Andrew

Conservative Party

Walter, Robert

Conservative Party

Donaldson, Jeffrey

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)

Paisley Jr, Ian

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)

Wilson, Sammy

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)

Hermon, Lady Sylvia

Independent

Bayley, Hugh

Labour Party

Beckett, Margaret

Labour Party

Benton, Joe

Labour Party

Byrne, Liam

Labour Party

Coffey, Ann

Labour Party

Dobson, Frank

Labour Party

Jackson, Glenda

Labour Party

Lucas, Ian

Labour Party

McCann, Michael

Labour Party

Wicks, Malcolm

Labour Party

Woodward, Shaun

Labour Party

Gapes, Mike

Labour/Co-operative Party

Greatrex, Tom

Labour/Co-operative Party

Bruce, Malcolm

Liberal Democrats

Hancock, Mike

Liberal Democrats

Kennedy, Charles

Liberal Democrats

Ward, David

Liberal Democrats

Wright, Simon

Liberal Democrats

Edwards, Jonathan

Plaid Cymru

Llwyd, Elfyn

Plaid Cymru

Williams, Hywel

Plaid Cymru

MacNeil, Angus

Scottish National Party (SNP)

McDonnell, Alasdair

Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP)

Ritchie, Margaret

Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP)