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8 May 2015

We now have more black and Asian MPs than ever before

Black and minority ethnic representation in parliament is over 6 per cent for the first time ever, an increase of 50 per cent on last time.  

By Barbara Speed

BME representation has been an important line for the Tories in this election, especially as their female representation among candidates and now MPs is pretty dismal. 

Some even claim to have voted on the basis of their record on diversity:

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The Tories did indeed have more BME candidates than the other large parties, but that hasn’t quite translated into seats: they have 16 BME MPs in the newly elected House, while Labour have 24, after being instructed to select more BME candidates part-way through the campaign:

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The biggest success story of the night, the SNP, still has a long way to go. 

Overall, that gives us 41 BME MPs. This equates to 6.3 per cent of the House of Commons, compared to the 14 per cent of the population at large who are BME. In 2010, the total was 27; while in 2005 it was 15. That means that this parliament has increased 2010’s record by 52 per cent.

Labour is doing better in raw numbers and proportion of party (10.3 per cent to the Conservatives’ 4.8 per cent), but it needs to pull its weight here slightly more – data shows that around a fifth of the party’s constituents under the last government were BME in 2014. 

You can see the full list of BME MPs elected in 2015 here