30 May 2024

Tories to lose over 1,000 years of Parliamentary experience at general election

Almost a quarter of the Parliamentary Party are standing down. Virtually overnight, the Party will have lost a significant amount of knowledge and expertise.

Joshua Kaile

As we find ourselves a week into an earlier than anticipated election campaign, it’s clear that change is in the offing. Rather than being a prediction of the overall election result, it is the inevitable outcome of the considerable number of MPs who have already announced they are retiring or standing down.

On the Conservative side alone, more than 82 MPs have announced they are standing down at the next general election on the 4th July 2024 – almost a quarter of the Parliamentary Party.

MHP’s analysis, first published in The Mirror, found this will result in the Conservative Party losing over 1,260 years’ worth of Parliamentary experience. Virtually overnight, the Party will have lost a significant amount of knowledge and expertise.

The average length of service for a Conservative MP due to stand down is over 15 years, meaning the Tories will have a significant task ahead of them to replace the loss of so much political know-how.

To put this into historical perspective, 82 Tory retirements is far higher than the 72 who stood down ahead of the 1997 election. That election led to a landslide win for the Labour Party and current opinions polls are suggesting a similar result in July. Former Prime Minister Theresa May, Sir John Redwood, Oliver Heald and Sir Bill Cash are some of the longest serving MPs to have announced they will not return to Parliament.

Labour too will experience losses, with over 30 MPs retiring at the next election – although it will not equate to losing quite the same level of experience as the Tories. Saying this, Labour battled a drain on its experience levels after the 2019 general election, where the Party’s worst result since 1935 saw many Labour MPs lose their seats.

Keep up to date with the election via MHP’s Election hub.

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