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All change in the House? The profile of candidates and MPs in the 2015 British general election

Hudson, JA; Lamprinakou, C; Campbell, R; Morucci, M; (2017) All change in the House? The profile of candidates and MPs in the 2015 British general election. Parliamentary Affairs , 70 (2) pp. 207-232. 10.1093/pa/gsw030. Green open access

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Abstract

Drawing on data from the Parliamentary Candidates UK project, we profile the socio-demographic characteristics of parliamentary candidates standing in 2015 and compare elected MPs to previous cohorts since 1979. We argue that the 2015 cohort of candidates largely resembles the archetypal candidate identified by Durose et al. (2013, Parliamentary Affairs, 66, 246–267). Despite smaller parties’ campaign rhetoric of a ‘new kind of politics’, parties across the spectrum offer up very similar candidate profiles. We find a narrowing of occupational backgrounds, with fewer candidates and MPs from manual occupations, and an increasing percentage of candidates and MPs with a university education. Competition across the parties, particularly in terms of the selection of women and black and minority ethnic (BME) candidates, has positive consequences for the representativeness of Parliament. However, despite a record number of women and BME MPs elected, Parliament remains disproportionately white and male.

Type: Article
Title: All change in the House? The profile of candidates and MPs in the 2015 British general election
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/pa/gsw030
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pa/gsw030
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Archetypal candidate; Sex; Race/ethnicity; Occupation; Descriptive representation; Political class
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1521967
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