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How do you become an MP?

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    is there only one way to become one or many?
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    There is only one way: stand for parliament and poll more votes than anyone else!
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    Rig an election....
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    You need to be elected.
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    no i mean before all that education wise etc.
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    In practical terms, to actually become an MP, you would have to be selected by one of the major parties, which means you'd first have to be a member of one of those parties, and you'd have to have worked for them for a while - by financially supporting them, campaigning, supporting campaigns, being active on a local level. There is no hard and fast rule - having connections in the hierarchy of the party (whether that means, say, trade union connections, friendships from university and so on) doesn't half help, I'm betting. Not having too many skeletons in one's closet is an advantage - you might want to start clearing the really dodgy pictures off your social networking profiles and so on. Of course, you can send them to me first - I won't do anything bad with them.

    Of course, actually winning the election is the final hurdle. Then you've got to be good at photo-ops, able to cut ribbons and generally waste the hard-earned money of the electorate on pointless layers of bureaucracy - and enjoy the large benefits that MPs get (hint: look for the housing allowance, you can use it to pay a mortgage on a central London property, then flog it when you get to the end of your term in office and you don't have to pay capital gains tax on the increased value of your property - and if it doesn't increase in value, you don't lose since the taxpayers paid the mortgage anyway!).
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    (Original post by blondevalkyrie)
    no i mean before all that education wise etc.
    There are no requirments as such, but realisitically you need to persuade the constituancy branch of a party to nominate you. Some MPs left school at 16 I believe.
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    (Original post by Hopping Mad Kangaroo)
    There are no requirments as such, but realisitically you need to persuade the constituancy branch of a party to nominate you. Some MPs left school at 16 I believe.
    Yeah, in about 1965. Even then most MPs were former Oxbridge. These days, realistically, a typical MP will be a strong University graduate and very active in local politics.
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    (Original post by Dionysus)
    Yeah, in about 1965. Even then most MPs were former Oxbridge. These days, realistically, a typical MP will be a strong University graduate and very active in local politics.
    Even as recent as 10 years ago. Who do you think most of the candidates back then for the Labour party were? Not that a good education wont significantly increase your chances.
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    (Original post by blondevalkyrie)
    no i mean before all that education wise etc.
    Potential MPs usually start of working as a research or some other sort of PA for a current MP. Then when a seat becomes available for their party they can stand for it, and capaign furiously to get put down as the labour/lib dem etc. candidate for that constituency. Then there is the smal matter of the election, of course.

    There is no set route, but this is the usual way. Other people work for trade unions and things (though obv. that is a labour thing!) - anything involved with the party whichgives you a bit of profile with them. You just work your way up from there really.

    Someone I know tried for years to be an P by working with various trade unions and stuff. Allthough she has never managed to stand for a seat (she frequently comes second in the party's choice of who shall stand), she has a really cool job in the house of commons.

    Being an MP requires perseverence, dedication and a bit of right-place-right-time!
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    (Original post by Hopping Mad Kangaroo)
    Even as recent as 10 years ago. Who do you think most of the candidates back then for the Labour party were? Not that a good education wont significantly increase your chances.
    What I meant was that they would have been at University in about 65 - should have explained that.
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    You'd need to join a party and be with them for quite some time and put in the hard graft. There is quite a large proportion of MPs who were lawyers or at least have degrees in law, but being active in your university's debating team would help too.
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    (Original post by Dionysus)
    What I meant was that they would have been at University in about 65 - should have explained that.
    Still not entirely true, maybe mid 80s. Some of these MPs were in their 30s when then came in.
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    (Original post by Dionysus)
    Yeah, in about 1965. Even then most MPs were former Oxbridge. These days, realistically, a typical MP will be a strong University graduate and very active in local politics.
    Would you consider a first in an LLB Law Degree at York and an M.Phil in International Relations from Cambridge to be a sufficiently strong academia to be a Conservative MP?

    Would it be possible to be a conservative MP having not gone to Oxbridge for undergraduate but gained a degree from York (In Law) and following that a postgraduate degree from Cambridge?

    Thanks
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    (Original post by Turkleton)
    Would you consider a first in an LLB Law Degree at York and an M.Phil in International Relations from Cambridge to be a sufficiently strong academia to be a Conservative MP?

    Would it be possible to be a conservative MP having not gone to Oxbridge for undergraduate but gained a degree from York (In Law) and following that a postgraduate degree from Cambridge?

    Thanks
    You don't need any academic qualifications at all to be an MP and, among those that do have degrees, plenty of Conservative MPs have BAs from ex-polytechnics.
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    You need to be a memeber of that party. If a seat becomes available you will be interviewed by some members (it sounds very rigourous, I think its 3 days or something like that). Basically you have to sell yourself as being the best candidate that they should pick to run in that area. If you are planning this in the long term, a good amount of savings is probably a good idea, as it will be a full time job campaigning to win the seat, doing the rounds kissing babies etc so you need to make sure you can financially do it. Probably a good way to start is to choose a party, become a member and start doing networking at the party conferences. Get in touch with your local MP etc. Be prepared for a lot of stress, sweat blood and tears.
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    You need to be able to not answer a question directly, but instead give an incredibly cryptic answer that actually creates more confusion than there was in the first place.
    Makes you sounds smart, see?

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Updated: July 11, 2011
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