Please note that this piece was originally published on the Revolts blog (available here) and has been re-published with permission from the author.
By Philip Cowley
It now looks very likely that the Labour Party will give free votes to its MPs in the upcoming Commons votes on Trident renewal and possible air strikes in Syria.
The party is split on both issues, and in particular its new leadership is at odds with large numbers of MPs. Free votes are often granted when there are divisions like this within parties; splits are never as newsworthy when they take place on free votes. So the tactical reasons for having free votes are pretty obvious.