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Page last updated at 15:53 GMT, Monday, 10 May 2010 16:53 UK

What is the new face of the House of Commons?

Elena Egawhary
BBC News

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

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There are 228 fresh faced MPs as a result of the 2010 election. Another four have sat in the Commons before, but were not present in the last Parliament. See the charts below to find out how the influx of new MPs has changed the make-up of the Commons.

Graph showing the gender make up of parliament and the three main political parties

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 before. 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.

Graph showing the black and minority ethnic make up of parliament and the three main political parties

Four percent 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 has had a private education.

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


Ninety percent of MPs have gone to university and more than a third of these MPs will have been educated at either Oxford or Cambridge. This contrasts to 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 fewest MPs educated at an Oxbridge, at 20%.

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