The Make-Up of Parliament

  • Philip Giddings

Abstract

MPs have long been perceived as middle class, middle aged, male and white and most Members of Parliaments elected between 1951 and 2001 conformed to this pattern, though subject to three significant provisos. First, the term ‘middle class’ is an arbitrary expression extending from high status professionals to public sector teachers and local government officials and from privately-schooled ‘Oxbridge’ graduates to the state-educated products of post-war universities and polytechnics. A second proviso concerns the greater diversity of Labour MPs reflected in a significant, if latterly declining, minority drawn from the ranks of manual workers. Thirdly, by the end of the century, another significant minority of Labour MPs was female.

Keywords

Hull Ethos 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Andrew Roth and Byron Criddle, Parliamentary Profiles. various volumes, 1998–2001.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See J. Squires and M. Wickham-Jones, Women in Parliament. (Manchester: Equal Opportunities Commission, 2001).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Pippa Norris and Joni Lovenduski, Political Recruitment: Gender, Race and Class in the British Parliament. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995) p. 15Google Scholar
  4. 10.
    Jorgen Rasmussen, ‘Female political career patterns and leadership disabilities in Britain’, Polity. 13, 1981, p. 620.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 11.
    L. Shepherd-Robinson and J. Lovenduski, Women and Candidate Selection.(London: Fawcett Society, 2002) p. 1.Google Scholar
  6. 13.
    C. Grantham and C. M. Hodgson, ‘The House of Lords: Structural Changes’ in P. Norton (ed.), Parliament in the 1980. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1985), pp. 130–1.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Giddings

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