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The Role of the Member of Parliament Since
1868From Gentlemen to Players$

Michael Rush

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198275770

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198275770.001.0001

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(p.224) Appendix

(p.224) Appendix

The Role of the Member of Parliament Since 1868
Oxford University Press

Notes on the Socio-Economic Backgrounds of MPs

The categories used in analysing the socio-economic backgrounds of MPs were as follows:

  1. 1. Education

    1. (a) Public school education: attendance at school listed as a member of the Headmasters’ Conference, the Association of Governing Bodies of Public Schools, together with the list of overseas public schools and the list of principal girls’ schools published annually in Whitaker’s Almanac. These were further subdivided into those who had attended one of the nine ‘Clarendon’ schools—as defined by the Royal Commission on Public Schools, 1864, chaired by Lord Clarendon, that is, Eton, Harrow, Winchester, Charterhouse, Shrewsbury, Rugby, Westminster, St Paul’s, and Merchant Taylors’—and those who did not.

    2. (b) Graduates: graduated from a university, former polytechnic, or service college in the UK or overseas, further subdivided into those who had attended either Oxford or Cambridge and those who had attended other institutions.

    3. (c) Elementary: those whose full-time education terminated at elementary school, including those who had further education in evening classes, adult education etc.

  2. 2. Occupation

    1. (a) Professions: lawyers, doctors, dentists, school, further education, university and adult education teachers, officers of the armed forces, and all recognized professions.

    2. (b) Business: all employers, directors of private and public companies, business executives, stockbrokers, farmers and working landowners, and small businessmen.

    3. (c) Workers: blue and white-collar workers, including all full-time trade union officials.

    4. (d) Miscellaneous: housewives, professional politicians, welfare workers, local government officers, insurance agents and estate valuers, journalists, party publicists, professional party organizers, and miscellaneous administrators.

  1. (p.225) (e) Private means: those who lived from unearned income, for example from investments, shares and dividends, rents, or income from landed estates.

With exception of (e), these are the categories used by David Butler and his co-authors in the Nuffield Election Studies and by Samuel E. Finer, Hugh B. Berrington, and D. Bartholomew Backbench Opinion in the House of Commons, 1955–59, Pergamon Press, London, 1961, but following the latter’s practice of classifying by the subject’s occupation on election, rather than the former’s practice of using the earliest or formative occupation.

3. Direct Local Connections

Born, educated, living or working in the constituency; having property interests or serving or having served as a member of a local government body in the constituency, or, in the case of towns or cities divided into two or more constituencies, with the town or city within which the constituency lies.