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Set Free? Impending Retirement and Legislative Behaviour in the UK

Article published in Parliamentary Affairs.

Set Free? Impending Retirement and Legislative Behaviour in the UK

David M. Willumsen & Klaus. H. Goetz

The decision of parliamentarians to retire potentially gives rise to a ‘last period problem’: the desire for re-election and political advancement, generally regarded as strongly influential on their behaviour, no longer motivates their parliamentary actions. We analyse the behaviour of retiring British Members of Parliament (MPs) in terms of attendance at votes, rates of rebellion, and the signing of Early Day Motions (EDMs) and the effects of the timing of their retirement announcement. MPs reduce their attendance rate at floor votes in their final term, but do not alter their behaviour as regards the signing of EDMs or voting the party line. This suggests the presence of parliamentary motivations other than those generally highlighted.

Link to article.