Who governs Britain: a profile of MPs in the 2010 Parliament

Document type
Hackett, Paul; Hunter, Paul
Smith Institute
Date of publication
10 May 2010
Social welfare
Material type

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What is the background of the MPs in the 2010 Parliament? What is their education and occupational profile, gender and age? How are these trends changing?  This analysis of MPs in the 2010 Parliament addresses these questions and shows how far our elected politicians reflect wider society.  Parliament today better reflects the gender balance and is more ethnically diverse but is becoming less representative in terms of education and occupation.  A remarkable 34% of MPs went to fee paying private schools (compared with a national average of around 7%). The occupational background of MPs continues to be ever more biased toward business, finance, law, public affairs, and politics.

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