Sun, 21 July 2024

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
Time to listen to construction industry experts if we’re to truly “get Britain building” Partner content
Youth Employment Week: helping young people build skills for the future Partner content
By Lord Davies of Brixton
Press releases

Only a third of Conservative MPs have 'local links' to constituency - thinktank

2 min read

Just a third of Conservative MPs were born, educated or recently lived in their constituency before entering the Commons, new thinktank research has revealed. 

Demos found that overall, about half of parliamentarians met the criteria, with Labour and the SNP performing better than the Tories.

While 104 of 318 Conservative MPs had links to their constituency pre-dating their political careers, 168 of 262 (64.1%) Labour MPs and 26 of 35 (74%) SNP parliamentarians were from their local area, The Times reports.  

To be pass the so-called “local test”, MPs had to have been born or educated in their constituency, or to have lived within 20km of its boundaries five years before representing it.

The Demos research also found at least 70% of constituencies in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and London were represented by people who met the criteria, compared to just 26% in the east of England and 28% in the south-east.

Demos said: “It is clear that there is a profound chasm between the parties in terms of their local credentials, and the data indicates that the efforts by those within the Conservative party to examine its long-term future and renew its modernisation strategy would also benefit from exploring opportunities to emphasise stronger local representation in constituency shortlists.

“This is made particularly clear in the fact that such a large proportion of the seats that turned from the Conservatives to Labour during the election were won by those with strong local connections – indicating that localism may have also become a powerful electoral strategy.”

The thinktank also said candidates with local links may have been more likely to win seats in the recent general election.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the MP for North East Somerset, said it was “easier” to be an MP with knowledge of the constituency.

“I think it does make a difference in the way in which you are perceived,” he added.

“People think that if you’re local you’re more likely to go in to bat for them on a planning issue or the closure of a local hospital.”

PoliticsHome Newsletters

PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by Josh May - David Davis: Brexit negotiations with the EU will get 'turbulent'

Engineering a Better World

The Engineering a Better World podcast series from The House magazine and the IET is back for series two! New host Jonn Elledge discusses with parliamentarians and industry experts how technology and engineering can provide policy solutions to our changing world.

NEW SERIES - Listen now

Partner content
Connecting Communities

Connecting Communities is an initiative aimed at empowering and strengthening community ties across the UK. Launched in partnership with The National Lottery, it aims to promote dialogue and support Parliamentarians working to nurture a more connected society.

Find out more