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Which party has the oldest average age of MPs? THREAD
First off, we must thank-you all. We launched a poll on Monday expecting maybe 500 responses maximum. Instead we had a whopping three-thousand-two-hundred-and-thirty votes on our Twitter poll.

That’s ridiculous.
We asked you which party you thought had the oldest average age of MPs.

Most of you, 66%, thought it was the @Conservatives, then the @LibDems (15%), then @UKLabour (14%), with the @theSNP coming in last with (5%).

I bet the SNP are feeling fairly youthful right about now.
Of course, Twitter polls work on a FPTP system, so we can’t really rank which party you thought was second oldest etc. I’m sure this is where the @electoralreform will come in and explain it all.

If you see calls for Twitter polls to be AV, you heard it here first.
So let’s compare the vote against the real data we have on MPs!

How wrong were you all? Very wrong, that’s how wrong.
Actually, that GIF is a lie, we are going to go into detail here.
Here is a graph which shows the average age of MPs by party.

The youngest party is @theSNP (46.97), second youngest is @Conservatives (50.97), then @UKLabour (52.76), with the oldest being the @LibDems (54.66).
So what went wrong? Why did you all think the Conservatives was the oldest?

Let’s start with explaining the easy part(y) first:
The @theSNP is primarily the youngest due to 10 of their 35 MPs being born in or after 1980.

They also have the highest proportion of MPs under 30 - 5.71%. Compare this to #Labour (1.4%), the #Conservatives (1.2%), and the #LiberalDemocrats (0% - that’s right, not one!).
It’s also notable that the @theSNP has the youngest MP in the House of Commons with @MhairiBlack.
The #SNP also have a smaller proportion of MPs over 55. They have twelve MPs aged 55 or over (34.29%) Compared to Labour (48.4%); Conservatives (35.34%), and the Liberal Democrats (58.34%).
Let’s look at the oldest group, the @LibDems;

People who spoke about the #LibDems suggested it was @vincecable who upped the average age for the party. Not quite. If we are to take him out of the dataset, the LibDems would still (just) have the highest average age with 52.81.
The Lib Dems just need more young MPs! They have 0 MPs aged 20-29, and only 2 MPs aged 30-39.
Now lets look at the party which according to Twitter is older than expected - #Labour, and compare them to the #Conservatives.

Let’s look at the intake of MPs after the #GE2017. The average age of new MPs is 46 for Labour, and 42 for the Conservatives.
Again, from the #GE2015. The average age of new MPs is 47 for Labour, and 44 for the Conservatives.

(any of you remember this interview from 2015? @Ed_Miliband)
Average age of #Conservative MPs first elected between 1997-2010 is 52.

Average age of #Labour MPs first elected between 1997-2010 is 54.7.
So here’s an explanation for the age difference between the two parties. From 1997 onwards, the #Conservative party has elected a younger average age of MP over six consecutive general elections than #Labour.
So why do people think Labour MPs are younger than Conservative MPs?

One explanation could be the age demographics of each political party. With Labour members perceived as "young" and Conservatives as "old" in the media.
Data from the @ESRCPtyMembers & a @commonslibrary report show that Labour has a greater proportion of 18-24 (18%) and 25-39 (33%) year olds as a proportion of their membership than the Conservatives (13% and 29% respectively).…
There's also the electoral vote-share from the #GE2017.

@YouGov found 66% of 18-19 and 62% of 20-24 age groups voted Labour.

Meanwhile, The Conservative vote was significantly older, holding majorities amongst the 50 to 70+ age groups.
While the #conservatives have made some effort to "youth-up" the party (cc. @bbradleymp). But they clearly have some way to go.

Especially when you have some Conservative MPs sabotaging their efforts. See here for just one example:…
So what are the lessons here?

-Clearly, what people assume about the age of MPs by party doesn't reflect reality.

-Historical precedents are hard to overcome.
-Having a political party's MPs being more descriptively representative of the nation does not translate to the substantive/symbolic political representation of specific age groups.
-When people think of a parties age, they don't think of a party's MPs age, but rather the age of their voters and the age of their membership.
This whole thread has been a blast to make. So here at @RepsoResearch we'd like to thank those who voted & all who read the thread.

Remember to share the facts you found interesting, follow us, and let us know if we should make more in the future (& what to cover)!
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