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ERIC Number: ED559229
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Feb
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Parliamentary Privilege--The Candidates. Research Brief. Edition 3
Sutton Trust
The research brief, "Parliamentary Privilege", looks at the educational backgrounds of candidates in winnable seats. The study included candidates selected by mid-December 2014 who were replacing serving MPs for the same party or in target seats with a reasonable possibility of winning. More than half of the candidates attended Russell Group universities, including majorities of both Conservative and Labour candidates, with a fifth Oxbridge educated. However, the Russell Group figure falls to less than a third of UKIP candidates, with only one having been to Oxford or Cambridge. The study also looks at the professional backgrounds of the candidates. 40% of the sample had political careers, including half of Labour candidates, with 14% of Labour candidates having previously worked for a trade union. 47 of the 260 candidates had careers as consultants, often in media relations, while 29 have worked as barristers or solicitors and 19 as journalists. Key findings include: (1) Almost a third of new candidates set to stand in May's General Election with a reasonable chance of winning were privately educated, which means the new House of Commons is unlikely to be much different from the present House in educational background; (2) 49% of Conservative candidates and 19% of Labour candidates were privately educated, compared to 7% of the population; (3) 55% of candidates went to Russell Group universities, with 19% attending Oxbridge; and (4) UKIP candidates are the least likely to have gone to university with 35% not attending.
Sutton Trust. 9th Floor Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London SW1P 4QP. Tel: +44-20-7802-1660; E-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Sutton Trust (England)
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom