Prof. Dr. Melanie Sully

Interview in "Der Standard" on "crossing the floor"

Interview in the Austrian quality daily "Der Standard", 7.8. 2015 with Dr Melanie Sully on changes of allegiance in parliamentary factions (written by Lisa Nimmervoll).

The Austrian daily Der Standard (Lisa Nimmervoll) interviewed Dr Melanie Sully ("Der berühmteste politische Swinger und seine Nachfahren") on the topic of Members of Parliament who switch allegiance once elected. Churchill did this several times but surveys show in the UK that this would be one reason voters would like to decide in a by-election and in fact last year when two Tories switched to the EU sceptic Ukip they held elections in their electoral district and won. A new Act in the UK makes recall possible of an MP who has breached certain rules or is imprisoned but this is reserved for grave cases and has not happened yet. In Austria a switch between parliamentary groups involves money transfers but in the UK only the opposition parties get public funds for their parliamentary work. In Austria the option of spending life as what is called a "wild" MP is unattractive because they have few rights whilst in the UK an Independent has more scope. Also in Germany a non-affliated MP has more say in committees. In Estonia and Bulgaria MPs can leave a faction but not join a new one. The topic is currently in the papers in Austria after some Members of Parliament defected from an opposition group to a government party.