The MPs that are defecting to the Independent group do not get on well with democracy. They all dislike the result of the People’s vote in 2016. They now wish to change their views on big issues, compared to the Labour and Conservative Manifesto platforms they stood on in 2017. If they are keen on democracy and a People’s vote, they should offer themselves for election in a series of by elections soon.
An MP who changes party allegiance is not obliged to resign to create a by election. Indeed, if an MP resigns from his or her party to be independent because he or she thinks their party is failing to carry out promises they jointly made at the last election there is not even a moral pressure to hold a by election. But if an MP wishes to change party, or to be a so called independent on a very different platform to the one they stood on for their original party, there is plenty of moral pressure to ask the electors their view.
When Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless decided the Conservatives were not Eurosceptic enough they resigned to join UKIP. They did the decent thing, stood in by elections and won. It did not work out well for them personally, on the assumption they would have liked to carry on in Parliament. Mark lost his seat in the following General election, whilst Douglas ended up in substantial disagreement with the Leader of UKIP and also ceased to be an MP.
The media seem to think the Independent group will morph into a new party. As it does so there will be more pressure on its members to answer why they do not submit themselves to an electoral test of what they are doing. This is particularly apposite given the belief of many of them that the public should be offered another vote on the issue of the EU. Wasn’t the 2017 General election another vote on the EU? I remember the election being dominated by the Brexit issue. 82% of the public voted for the two main parties who both said they would implement the result of the referendum. The Lib Dems made the case for a second referendum and slumped to 10% support.
I would be interested in what name you think would be most appropriate for this new grouping? Would it be unkind to suggest the We know better than the voters party, or perhaps the Not the Labour party.