The mobility of politicians in the United Kingdom

There’s an article forthcoming in the journal British Politics – and just published online (£, unfortunately) – which examines the question of politician mobility in the UK,  looking at the relationships between the constituencies served by elected representatives and their place of birth, and takes into account age, gender and political party.

Looking at both MPs and MEPs (and it finds broadly similar results in both cases), it finds:

The UK regions, outside London, which have the highest number of Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) born per head of population are also the ones that have the least politician mobility. The south-east of England, and in particular London, have the greatest mobility… Females were more likely to cross more than one regional boundary than males, particularly for Conservative MPs, and there was a higher differential in this regard for MEPs compared to MPs.

The article concludes that while there is considerable mobility, ‘the vast majority represent constituencies within their region of birth, or an adjacent region’.  In terms of the public’s desire to have local MPs, though, the question is whether this is local enough: region of birth AND adjacent region takes in a considerable amount of land.