Politics: English votes for English Tories

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Why the Conservatives are so keen on English-only votes

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THIS week’s Bagehot column discusses David Cameron’s impending attempt to change Parliament’s rules to introduce an English-only dimension to votes only (or predominantly) affecting English voters. The move comes as a response to the latest wave of devolution to Scotland; Mr Cameron’s argument, not unreasonably, being that Scottish MPs should not have the same rights to vote on matters affecting others’ constituents but not their own. But there is also a dash of self-interest in the prime minister’s enthusiasm for English votes for English laws, or EVEL as it is known, as the below chart shows.

For the past half-century, Conservative governments have consistently been stronger in England than in the United Kingdom as a whole; Labour governments have consistently been weaker. Even now, following the collapse of Labour in Scotland, this remains the case—Scots having turned not to the Tories but to the …

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