Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/23011
Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Solving the problem of social background in the UK ‘political class’: do parties do things differently in Westminster, devolved, and European elections?
Authors: Cairney, Paul
Keating, Michael
Wilson, Alex
Contact Email: p.a.cairney@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: political class
Westminster
devolution
gender
MP background
Issue Date: Jun-2016
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Citation: Cairney P, Keating M & Wilson A (2016) Solving the problem of social background in the UK ‘political class’: do parties do things differently in Westminster, devolved, and European elections?, British Politics, 11 (2), pp. 142-163.
Abstract: It is now commonplace to criticise the failings of Westminster’s ‘political class’. One part of this criticism regards the limited extent to which Westminster politicians reflect the social background of the voting population. Each party has addressed the problem in different ways, with Labour more likely to focus on the representation of women and the Conservatives on people with ‘proper jobs’ before election.1Devolved and European elections have provided new opportunities for parties: Labour’s push for more elected women has been relatively effective in the Scottish, Welsh and European elections; and, before UKIP made significant gains in European Parliament elections in 2014, it promised candidates who were ‘not career politicians’. Yet, overall, new levels of elected representation have not produced a distinctive ‘political class’. There is still a common pattern of professionalisation across devolved, Westminster and European parliaments, in which elected politicians have often similar kinds of education and employment background, and generally struggle to mirror the social background of their populations.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/23011
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/bp.2015.39
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in British Politics by Palgrave Macmillan. The original publication is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/bp.2015.39
Affiliation: Politics
University of Aberdeen
European Parliament

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