Part 2: I calculated the average face of a UK Member of Parliament… per each recent election
The average face of a British MP was a catchy topic, more than I could ever imagine. I’ve received loads of requests, comments, some trolling (much less than I expected), and press attention (much more than I expected). Yet it’s not all there — in fact, I think there are some way more interesting partitions that one can do based on the original pictures.
The next question I ask is: what do the newly elected MPs look like? It would be nice to be able to answer this question, but we only have portraits for the current MPs. Still, we can ask a slightly different question:
if we group the current MPs by the General Election(*) they first joined the Commons, can we spot any pattern?
Here’s the outcome. Note that we don’t have enough photos for years before 1992 (the average current MP elected in 1970 looks like… Ken Clarke, as he’s the only one who stood for a portrait).
There are two clear trends. One is obvious: the earlier cohort look older than the recent ones. The other is the fact that the early faces look more masculine, while the most recent ones tend to have more feminine traits. I would dare saying that the 2015 average is the most remarkably feminine of the lot. In fact, of the current 145 MPs first elected in 2015, 66 were women, very close to a 50/50 House. This goes down to 33 women out of 89 in 2017.
For comparison, here are the cohorts.
(*) let’s take by-election out of this because there’s not enough data
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