Page last updated at 12:28 GMT, Tuesday, 18 May 2010 13:28 UK

What is the new face of the House of Commons?

New MPs in 2010 Parliament

Elena Egawhary
BBC News

This general election has the largest intake of new MPs since 1997, so what does the new House of Commons look like?

There are 227 fresh faced MPs as a result of the 2010 election. Another five have sat in the Commons before, but were not present in the last Parliament.

Party breakdown: See how the Commons has changed, 2005-2010

There are 227 new MPs this Parliament, out of 649 MPs Figures exclude "retreads" - five MPs who have been in a previous Parliament but not directly preceding 2010
There are 142 women MPs this Parliament, out 649 MPs
Of the 649 MPs this Parliament, 26 are black and minority ethnic

Women MPs

Parliament remains disproportionately male. While 51% of the UK population is female, only 22% of MPs in the new Parliament are women. But that represents a two percentage point increase on 2005. Labour and Conservatives have both had slight rises in their number of women but the Liberal Democrats have seen their numbers drop.

The Cabinet has a similar imbalance. Four of the 23 posts are held by women.

Ethnic background

Four per cent of the MPs voted into Parliament are from a black and minority ethnic background. Both the Labour Party and the Conservative Party have increased the number of MPs from minority backgrounds while the Liberal Democrats have none.



The percentage of privately-educated MPs has been declining over the past few decades but from 2001 the proportion started to rise again. This election has seen an increase of 3%, resulting in more than one third of current MPs having attended a private school. By way of contrast, 7% of the school population in England is in private education.

Some 43% of MPs were educated in comprehensive state schools, with the remainder (22%) having attended state grammar schools.


Ninety per cent of MPs have gone to university and more than a third of these MPs were educated at either Oxford or Cambridge.

This contrasts with the general population where the latest figures show that only 31% of working age adults in England were educated to university level.

The Labour Party has the lowest proportion of MPs educated at Oxbridge, at 20% although the Liberal Democrats have the lowest overall number of MPs sitting in the House of Commons.

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