20 under 40: parliament's rising stars

This week's <em>New Statesman</em> profiles 20 MPs who are ambitious, ahead of the pack, and under t

The last election saw the arrival of 227 new MPs, the biggest rookie intake since 1997. The New Statesman, in association with Insight Public Affairs, has compiled a list of 20 MPs aged under 40 who we think have the brightest prospects in the House. The list excludes frontbenchers, although among them are sure to be future ministers and even prime ministers. As the NS leader notes this week: "so far, the 2010 generation has shown itself to be independent-minded and politically precocious, with a reassuring tendency to defy the whips".

We will be following them and reporting back on their progress in the years ahead. For now, here is the list. You can read profiles of these MPs in this week's NS, currently available on the newsstands.

Rushanara Ali (Lab) - born 1975

Luciana Berger (Lab) - 1981

Rehman Chishti (Con) - 1978

Stella Creasy (Lab) - 1977

Michael Dugher (Lab) - 1975

Sam Gyimah (Con) - 1976

Duncan Hames (Lib Dem) - 1977

Matthew Hancock (Con) - 1978

Tristram Hunt (Lab) - 1974

Jo Johnson (Con) - 1971

Gregg McClymont (Lab) - 1976

Lisa Nandy (Lab) - 1979

Priti Patel (Con) - 1972

Dominic Raab (Con) - 1974

Rachel Reeves (Lab) - 1979

Rory Stewart (Con) - 1973

Jo Swinson (Lib Dem) - 1980

Elizabeth Truss (Con) - 1975

Chuka Umunna (Lab) - 1978

John Woodcock (Lab) - 1978

 

Samira Shackle is a freelance journalist, who tweets @samirashackle. She was formerly a staff writer for the New Statesman.

Ukip's Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall. Photo: Getty
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Is the general election 2017 the end of Ukip?

Ukip led the way to Brexit, but now the party is on less than 10 per cent in the polls. 

Ukip could be finished. Ukip has only ever had two MPs, but it held an outside influence on politics: without it, we’d probably never have had the EU referendum. But Brexit has turned Ukip into a single-issue party without an issue. Ukip’s sole remaining MP, Douglas Carswell, left the party in March 2017, and told Sky News’ Adam Boulton that there was “no point” to the party anymore. 

Not everyone in Ukip has given up, though: Nigel Farage told Peston on Sunday that Ukip “will survive”, and current leader Paul Nuttall will be contesting a seat this year. But Ukip is standing in fewer constituencies than last time thanks to a shortage of both money and people. Who benefits if Ukip is finished? It’s likely to be the Tories. 

Is Ukip finished? 

What are Ukip's poll ratings?

Ukip’s poll ratings peaked in June 2016 at 16 per cent. Since the leave campaign’s success, that has steadily declined so that Ukip is going into the 2017 general election on 4 per cent, according to the latest polls. If the polls can be trusted, that’s a serious collapse.

Can Ukip get anymore MPs?

In the 2015 general election Ukip contested nearly every seat and got 13 per cent of the vote, making it the third biggest party (although is only returned one MP). Now Ukip is reportedly struggling to find candidates and could stand in as few as 100 seats. Ukip leader Paul Nuttall will stand in Boston and Skegness, but both ex-leader Nigel Farage and donor Arron Banks have ruled themselves out of running this time.

How many members does Ukip have?

Ukip’s membership declined from 45,994 at the 2015 general election to 39,000 in 2016. That’s a worrying sign for any political party, which relies on grassroots memberships to put in the campaigning legwork.

What does Ukip's decline mean for Labour and the Conservatives? 

The rise of Ukip took votes from both the Conservatives and Labour, with a nationalist message that appealed to disaffected voters from both right and left. But the decline of Ukip only seems to be helping the Conservatives. Stephen Bush has written about how in Wales voting Ukip seems to have been a gateway drug for traditional Labour voters who are now backing the mainstream right; so the voters Ukip took from the Conservatives are reverting to the Conservatives, and the ones they took from Labour are transferring to the Conservatives too.

Ukip might be finished as an electoral force, but its influence on the rest of British politics will be felt for many years yet. 

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