Reflections on the General Election: baby steps

Reflections on the General Election: baby steps

December 16, 2019

As you might have heard, we had a general election on Thursday.

Regardless of how you voted on Thursday there are many outcomes from Thursday’s election that I think we all can celebrate in our newly elected House of Commons.

To begin, 1 in 10 of the newly elected House of Commons members is from an ethnic minority background. This is a significant improvement since 2008, when UpRising was founded. At that time BAME MPs were only 1/40. I'm excited to see this improvement and seeing more diverse faces in Parliament, even if I don’t always personally agree with their politics. This year, more ethnic minority women were elected than ethnic minority men. In 2009 there were only 2 ethnic minority women sitting in Parliament and now there will be 37 ethnic minority women entering the new Parliament.

This also reflects the trends that our new parliament is more gender diverse, with the number of women members of parliament increasing to 220. LGB representation in parliament has also increased to 50 MPs, the highest number in the world.

There are also positive signs in education background. Of the 155 newly elected MPs, 62% were educated at comprehensive schools, while a further 22% went to independent schools and 14% were educated at grammars. Which means that almost two-thirds of the newly elected MPs didn’t attend a private school. This shows there is less need to be privately educated to become a member of parliament.   

If you’re a stat lover like me, these numbers will give you reasons to cheer however you feel about the end result. Despite all these achievements though, it is clearly not time to pack up and call it a day… there is work to be done.

While we saw an increase in female representation, 220 is not half of 650 MPs, so the goal of  50/50 parliament is still needs to be worked towards. 1/10 BAME MPs is not reflective of the country, which is likely around ⅕ BAME (we will know for sure next year with the new census being taken). And more astute readers will notice I said LGB, not LGBT. This is because no candidate who identifies as Trans was elected, meaning to date we have yet to elect a Trans member of parliament. 

We should recognise the positive steps taken in recent years, and look back from where we were over a decade ago when UpRising was founded and see change is happening, albeit slowly. The parliament that represents us looks a bit more like us than it did a week ago. 

There is still plenty of work to do, but we reflect with a glass half full mentality, there are plenty of positives to be taken, regardless of who you voted for. 

 

 

 

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash