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“Rookie” MPs Could Re-Shape Parliament After General Election Upheaval

A major swing towards Labour at the next general election – which polls and local election wins suggest is likely – will not only mean a significant political shift, but also mean a huge personnel change in Westminster, with real consequences for the efficacy of the new government.

Even a slender Labour majority could deliver around 125 rookie MPs who have never held seats before. But there are also around twenty current MPs standing down in seats the party might expect to hold meaning even seats that Labour holds could have a new MP with no experience of parliament. The same goes for several Tories standing down in the few safe seats they have left. On current polling, there is also likely to be a few dozen new Lib Dem MPs. 

If Labour wins a landslide, this change will be even more pronounced. Perhaps half of the next parliament could be new entrants.

For a political system that thrives on unwritten rules and allegiances as much as formal procedure, a vast new intake who are unfamiliar with parliament’s codes could have a significant impact on the workings of our politics. In the run-up to the election, plenty of attention has been paid to selections. Within each party, different factions have tried to get their favourites in winnable positions, but an MPs’ newness could make as much of a difference in office as any ideological underpinnings.

Unlike in some jurisdictions, there is little lead-in time for MPs. The British electoral transition is incredibly quick: as soon as the result is declared they are into office, and parliament sits shortly after. For the rookie MPs, exhausted from weeks of electioneering, this will be an overwhelming time. 

Arriving in Westminster will be a huge challenge for new MPs before they even

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