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The Voting Behaviour of the Irish parliamentary party on social issues in the House of Commons 1881-90

Cousins, Mel (2011): The Voting Behaviour of the Irish parliamentary party on social issues in the House of Commons 1881-90.

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Abstract

Most studies of the Irish Parliamentary party and its leaders have, understandably, focused on issues directly concerning Ireland. There have been relatively few studies of the role of the Parliamentary party in broader British politics, particularly in relation to social issues. In order to assess this issue over a period of time, this study examines the division lists of the House of Commons in relation to votes on selected ‘social’ issues in the 1880s. An analysis of the Irish Parliamentary party’s voting record in the 1880s throws some light on the party’s broader views on social issues. The study examines the voting behaviour of the Irish Parliamentary party in the context of that of the other major political groupings in the 1880s Parliament. It looks in particular at i) The extent to which the Irish party members actually voted in comparison with MPs overall; ii) the internal cohesion of the Irish Parliamentary party votes, i.e. the extent to which those members voting expressed the same views; iii) their ‘likeness’ with the voting patterns of other major political groupings, i.e. the extent to which the Irish party votes were in line with other groups; and iv) the extent to which (if any) this changed over time.

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