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Election Roundup: An intro to your new Parliament

After last night’s Labour landslide, and with most of the Navigate team operating on little to no sleep over the past 36 hours; we’ve decided to skip the generic blow-by-blow account of the political earthquake that’s taken place – and instead bring you some interesting stats about the new Parliament and a look at the big names who we won’t be seeing on the green benches next week… As usual, if you’ve been forwarded this email and would like to receive it in your inbox, for free, every Friday, please drop us a line to be added to the list.


A brief look at the new Parliament 🔍


The most inexperienced parliament in modern history: The average parliamentary experience of our MPs has dropped to just 5.6 years following the election – down from 7.8 years at the start of the 2019 Parliament. By comparison, average experience fell from 10.4 years to 7.9 years in 1997 and from 10 years to 8.7 years in 2010. The combination of a turbulent decade of multiple quickfire elections, large numbers of senior MPs stepping down this year, and a Labour landslide has reduced average experience to a lower level than in living memory.


More women than ever before: 260 women have been elected MPs, including 130 for the first time. 40% of the House of Commons is therefore now female - an increase from 35% at the end of the last Parliament. Of the 2024 Parliament’s female MPs, 72% (188) are Labour, 12% (30) are Conservative and a further 12% (30) are Lib Dem. Labour also have the highest proportion of female MPs on their benches, amongst the major parties, at 46%. The Lib Dems are just behind on 42%; whilst the Conservative trail on 25%.


The youngest UK Parliament ever: The average age of an MP has hovered around the 50-years-old mark since 1979, and until today 1997 marked the lowest average age following a general election at 49.3 years. Another Labour landslide however has brought another record, with the average age of an MP having now dropped to 47.8 years, making this the youngest Parliament yet. Labour MP for North West Cambridgeshire Sam Carling is the new ‘Baby of the House’ at just 22-years-old, becoming the second youngest MP in history after Mhairi Black – elected at just 20 years old in 2015. Moreover, over 150 MPs are aged between 30-39, compared to 109 in 2019, including over 100 Labour MPs, 19 Conservatives and 11 Lib Dems. Conservative MP for North Thanet Roger Gale is now the oldest member at 80-years-old, celebrating his 81st next month.


The gayest parliament in history: The UK Parliament has again beaten its own record as the gayest parliament in history, following previous records in 2015 and 2019. 54 of the 190 openly LGBTQ+ candidates have been elected. Whilst this marks a decrease from the 67 LGBTQ+ MPs at the time of dissolution in May, it is an increase from the 46 MPs elected in 2019, and it’s expected, as has happened historically, that this number may increase with further MPs coming out after the election. 44 Labour MPs are gay (11% of the parliamentary party), compared to 7% for the Lib Dems and 4% for the Conservatives.


The most ethnically diverse UK Parliament: 93 minority ethnic candidates have been elected, including 39 new MPs, making up 14.3% of the House of Commons. This marks a notable increase of 27 minority ethnic MPs compared to 2019, and continues with the trend of increasing minority ethnic representation in Parliament since 1987. Given their landslide win, the vast majority of minority ethnic MPs are unsurprisingly from the Labour Party, with 69 MPs – due in large part to Labour winning the most seats, but also in part down to Labour having selected notably more minority ethnic candidates than the Conservatives. Meanwhile, the Conservatives have 16 minority ethnic MPs, with the majority (13) having already served in the last Parliament. The Lib Dems also have 4 minority ethnic MPs, and additionally 4 minority ethnic independent candidates won across the country. This means that so far (with 2 seats left to announce), 16.7% of Labour’s MPs are from ethnic minorities, alongside 13.2% of Conservative MPs and just 5.6% of Lib Dem MPs.


Second time lucky: 15 MPs have been given a second shot at the job by the electorate, returning to the Commons after a stint away. The four elections between 2001 and 2015 saw on average 5 MPs return to the green benches each time; whilst 12 returned in 2017 and another 15 in 2019. Former MP and ex-West of England Mayor Dan Norris toppled Jacob Rees-Mogg in North East Somerset and Hanham, while Anna Turley, Gareth Snell, Mary Creagh and Jo Platt are amongst those returning at the first time of asking, providing the new Prime Minister with some much-needed Parliamentary experience on (what we expect – at least for now) will be the Labour backbenches. The biggest name returning for another pop is former Transport, Scotland and International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander.


The big losses of the night ✒️


Liz Truss (South West Norfolk) – Former Prime Minister kicked out of another office, as she lost to Labour by 630 votes, with her vote share falling by 43.6%. Deputy PM under Truss, Thérèse Coffey, also lost her seat.


Grant Shapps (Welwyn Hatfield) – Defence Secretary unceremoniously decommissioned, albeit expectedly, by Labour. Shapps had held the seat since 2005.


Penny Mordaunt (Portsmouth North) – Leader of the Commons and famous sword bearer saw her vote count slashed and narrowly lost to Labour.


Michelle Donelan (Melksham and Devizes) – Science, Innovation and Technology Secretary couldn’t engineer a way to go against the swing, losing to the Liberal Democrats in this new constituency.


Gillian Keegan (Chichester) – Education Secretary expelled from Parliament by her constituents, as she fell victim to Lib Dem gains in the South of England.


Mark Harper (Forest of Dean) – Start the car! Transport Secretary ousted by Labour by just 278 votes.


Lucy Frazer (Ely and East Cambridgeshire) – Culture, Media and Sport Secretary dropped from the role, with the Lib Dems gaining this seat by 495 votes.


Victoria Prentis (Banbury) – The Attorney General was not in favour with the jury of voters, losing to the Labour Party.


Alex Chalk (Cheltenham) – Verdict in as the Justice Secretary comprehensively defeated by the Liberal Democrats.


Simon Hart (Caerfyrddin) – Voters rebel in the Chief Whip’s seat as he slips into third place, behind Plaid Cymru and Labour.


David TC Davies (Monmouthshire) – First sitting Welsh Secretary to lose their seat since the position was created. Part of a complete wipeout of Conservative MPs in Wales.


Johnny Mercer (Plymouth Moor View) – Veterans Minister lost to Labour opponent Fred Thomas by 5,604 votes.


Jacob Rees-Mogg (Somerset North East and Hanham) – More time on GB News now for JRM as Dan Norris returns to Parliament. Side note but Norris was a Labour MP from 1997-2010 and, by returning to the Commons now, has skilfully avoided the party’s entire time in opposition.


Jonathan Ashworth (Leicester South) – Labour would have been in Shockat the Independent candidate winning this seat off the Shadow Paymaster General [Editor’s note – that’s one pun too far…]. Shockat Adam was one of five Independent candidates elected in England, alongside Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North), Adnan Hussain (Blackburn), Ayoub Khan (Birmingham Perry Barr) and Iqbal Mohamed (Dewsbury and Batley).


Thangam Debbonaire (Bristol Central) – Greens play the right tune in the Shadow Culture Secretary’s seat, with Co-Leader Carla Denyer winning 56.6% of the votes. The Green Party won all four of their key targets, with Sian Berry (Brighton Pavilion), Adrian Ramsay (Waveney Valley) and Ellie Chowns (North Herefordshire) all becoming MPs. 


Ian Paisley Jr (North Antrim) – Jim Allister of the TUV won this seat from the DUP, meaning someone with a surname other than Paisley will be the MP for the first time since 1970. In Northern Ireland as a whole, Sinn Fein won 7 seats, the DUP 5, SDLP won 2, Alliance, UUP and TUV one seat, and Alex Easton won as an Independent in North Down.


But, quite obviously, the losses didn’t stop there… In addition to losing Truss’ seat, the Conservatives no longer hold Maidenhead (Lib Dem), Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Labour), Witney (Lib Dem), and also Henley and Thame (Lib Dem), meaning no seat held by any of the last five Prime Ministers (other than Sunak) remains in the hands of the Conservative Party. John Major’s seat of Huntingdon remained Blue, but even Margaret Thatcher’s seat of Finchley (now Finchley and Golders Green) went to the Lib Dems… In contrast, Labour won back both Newton Aycliffe and Spennymoor (containing Sedgefield) and Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy, the seats held by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown respectively.

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