Analysis of Conservative MPs across the North of England shows that more will vote to leave the EU than stay, with Yorkshire backbenchers emphatically against staying.
At the time of writing, according to the ConservativeHome website, there are 149 Tory MPs for Remain, and 124 for Leave.
There has been some analysis of trends amongst those on the ‘payroll’ (Ministers, whips and Parliamentary Private Secretaries) and backbenchers. This shows, not surprisingly given that they have careers, that payroll MPs are heavily in favour of staying in the EU (84 for remain, 30 to leave) whereas more backbenchers, many of whom have given up any hope of a career, want to leave (65 for remain, 94 to leave).
There has also been some limited analysis according to the year of intake showing that the more recently an MP was elected, the more likely they are to be for Remain; again possibly reflecting their aspirations.
Looking at a regional breakdown, analysis shows that unlike the parliamentary party as a whole, more Conservative MPs in the North of England (Yorkshire and North Lincs, North West and North East) support leaving than staying: of the 44 Conservative MPs across the North, 15 want to stay in the EU and 16 want to come out, with 13 yet to declare their stance.
Within this cohort, 19 out of the 44 hold a government position, which at 43% is quite a bit higher than the proportion across the country as a whole with the overall payroll vote accounting for 35% of the Parliamentary party. Is that because Northerners are more able (obviously), or more thrusting (probably that as well)? This makes it all the more surprising that more Northern MPs are for out.
Within the Northern contingent of the payroll, of those that have declared, 12 are for remaining in while just 2 are for leaving and 5 have yet to say. There are no surprises there, but this means that the Northern backbenchers, with 14 being for out and only 3 for in, are a very anti-EU bunch, much more so than the backbenchers as a whole.
The figures are even starker for Yorkshire and North Lincs with only one solitary MP not on the payroll being in favour of Remain, and 8 against him in favour of Leave.
Is it because in Yorkshire they live up (or down) to the stereotype of thinking that nothing good ever comes out of anywhere other than God’s Own County, never mind ‘abroad’? Or is it that as true Tykes they are less likely to accept being told what to do, even by their Prime Minister?
*= Member of the ‘payroll’
Remain (1): Guy Opperman – Hexham*
Leave (2): Anne-Marie Trevelyan – Berwick-upon-Tweed; James Wharton – Stockton South*
Remain (8): Jake Berry – Rossendale and Darwen*; Graham Evans – Weaver Vale*; David Morris – Morecombe and Lunesdale*; David Mowat – Warrington South; George Osborne – Tatton*; Antoinette Sandbach – Eddisbury; Edward Timpson – Crewe and Nantwich *; Ben Wallace – Wyre and Preston North*.
Leave (5): Graham Brady – Altrincham and Sale West; Fiona Bruce – Congleton; Nigel Evans – Ribble Valley; David Nuttall – Bury North; William Wragg – Hazel Grove.
Undeclared (8): Chris Green – Bolton West; Seema Kennedy – South Ribble; Paul Maynard – Blackpool North and Cleveleys*; Mark Menzies – Flyde; Mary Robinson – Cheadle; David Rutley – Macclesfield*; John Stevenson – Carlisle; Rory Stewart – Penrith and the Border*.
Yorkshire & North Lincs
Remain (6): Kevin Hollinrake – Thirsk and Malton; Kris Hopkins – Keighley*; Andrew Jones – Harrogate and Knaresborough*; Alec Shelbrooke – Elmet and Rothwell*; Julian Smith – Skipton and Ripon*; Craig Whittaker – Calder Valley*.
Leave (8): Nigel Adams – Selby and Ainsty; Philip Davies – Shipley; David Davis – Haltemprice and Howden; Andrea Jenkyns – Morley and Outwood; Greg Knight – Yorkshire East; Jason McCartney – Colne Valley; Andrew Percy – Brigg and Goole; Martin Vickers – Cleethorpes.
Undeclared (5): Stuart Andrew – Pudsey*; Robert Goodwill – Scarborough and Whitby*; Graham Stuart – Beverley and Holderness; Julian Sturdy – York Outer; Rishi Sunak – Richmond.