Attitudes to welfare amongst newly elected MPs

Defty, Andrew and Bochel, Hugh (2012) Attitudes to welfare amongst newly elected MPs. In: Social Policy Association Annual Conference (July 2012), July 2012, University of York.

SPA 2012 Paper - Bochel and Defty.pdf
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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


The 2010 general election which led to the establishment of the first coalition government at Westminster for over sixty years, also saw the largest turnover of MPs since the Second World War with the election of 227 new MPs, thirty-five per cent of the House of Commons. This paper examines attitudes to welfare amongst the newly elected MPs and provides some comparative data on attitudes to welfare in the previous parliament. Drawing on interviews with a target sample of ten per cent of newly elected MPs, it examines MPs’ attitudes towards the role of the state in welfare and the extent of parliamentary support for welfare reform, both within the Coalition parties and across the House of Commons. The paper also draws upon earlier research by the authors which examined MPs’ attitudes to welfare during the 2005-2010 parliament. That research suggested that in the previous parliament there was evidence of some cross-party consensus in MPs’ attitudes to welfare, with a general convergence around the idea of more selective and targeted approach to welfare provision, and support for a mixture of public and private provision. However, it also revealed that the attitudes of MPs first elected in 2005 were somewhat more polarised than among their longer serving colleagues. This paper will seek to determine whether the attitudes of the, much larger, intake of the 2010 election are more or less polarised, and what impact this might have on the government’s welfare reform agenda and beyond.

Keywords:parliament, Politics of social policy, Attitudes
Subjects:L Social studies > L200 Politics
L Social studies > L400 Social Policy
L Social studies > L432 Welfare Policy
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:16279
Deposited On:16 Dec 2014 15:37

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