Four Conservative MPs voted against the government yesterday to allow fracking under national parks and other protected areas. They were: Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative candidate for Mayor of London and MP for Richmond Park; Jason McCartney (Colne Valley), Sarah Wollaston (Totnes) and Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight).
In the last parliament, Jason McCartney and Andrew Turner voted against the government on the Infrastructure Bill, while Zac Goldsmith and Sarah Wollaston abstained.
A total of 91 MPs didn’t vote in yesterday’s ballot, including 39 Labour, 30 Conservatives and 5 SNP.
Several of those who didn’t vote have constituencies where onshore oil and gas drilling is a key local issue. These include Conservatives Andrew Tyrie (Chichester) and Greg Knight (East Yorkshire) and Labour’s Lindsey Hoyle (Chorley) and Julie Cooper (Burnley).
One Labour MP voted for the government’s regulations: Jim Fitzpatrick, the MP for Poplar and Limehouse.
Kevin Hollinrake, Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton, where Third Energy wants to frack a well, voted for the regulations. As did his party colleague, Mark Menzies, MP for Fylde, where Cuadrilla wants to frack up to eight wells at two sites. Mark Menzies voted against the government in the Infrastructure Bill debate in the last parliament.
Other Conservatives who voted for the regulations included Nick Herbert (Arundel and the South Downs), whose constituency includes drilling licences in the South Downs National Park, and Jeremy Quinn (Horsham) whose constituency includes the West Sussex village of Balcombe.
50 SNP MP voted against the regulations but five members of the party did not vote.
From the smaller parties, only UKIP’s Douglas Carswell voted for the regulations. Of MPs who describe themselves as Independent, Michelle Thomson (Edinburgh West) did not vote and Lady Hermon (North Down) voted against.
298 in favour of the regulations
261 against the regulations
91 did not vote
Summary of MPs who voted yes
Summary of MPs who voted no
192 Labour and Labour Co-op
7 Lib Dem
2 Plaid Cymru
2 Social Democratic and Labour Party
2 Ulster Unionist Party
Summary of MPs who didn’t vote
The 91 MPs didn’t vote in yesterday’s ballot on fracking under national parks were made up of:
39 Labour and Labour Co-op
8 Democratic Unionist
4 Sinn Fein
1 Social Democratic and Labour Party
1 Lib Dem
1 Plaid Cymru
(The Speaker is also included as ‘didn’t vote’)