The 1922 elections were not a clean sweep for the loyalist 301 Group
slate, they missed out on one of the secretary position.
But they have pretty much succeeded in purging the ’22 and the Backbench Business Committee of the so-called ‘wreckers’. Indeed, the only ‘wrecker’ who has survived is
Bernard Jenkin who remains on the ’22 executive. But, significantly, I understand that Stewart Jackson, who spoke up in defence of Nadine Dorries at ’22 last week and was very critical
of David Cameron at the weekend,
came — in the words of one who has seen the actual voting numbers — ‘within a whisker’ of being elected to the executive.
These elections are odd affairs, people vote on friendship as much as ideology. Jenkin, for instance, pulled in a large number of personal votes from those who do not agree with his politics. Nick
de Bois, who ran as a ‘non-slated’ candidate, appears to have benefitted both from his own popularity and irritation at the 301’s decision to run so public a slate.
One thing that this election does illustrate is the power of the 2010 intake. The only two members of the 301 Group slate not to make it onto the executive was the one who is not a new member. The
new intake also now control 11 of the 12 positions on the executive.
This election, which had 93.8 percent turnout, makes the ’22 a far more powerful body than it was before. No one can now claim that it is not representative of the parliamentary party.