By Marieke Audsley
As a follow up to our article on Mumsnet on engaging children in politics we thought we'd follow up with a few stats about the election.
With less than a week away, election fever is reaching peak temperature. Anxious politicians are doing all they can to secure votes and still nobody has any idea what the outcome will be. Unless you have been living in a cave for the last six weeks you will have no doubt been bombarded with election related news coverage. In today’s blog we won’t be delving into the depths of the parties’ manifestos, but I thought it might be interesting to look at some election statistics and get hold of some facts amidst all the claims and accusations and hot air.
• There are 650 constituencies in the UK and a party needs to win 326 seats for an overall majority.
• All of the party leaders have been under pressure to talk about the economy and reducing the deficit and borrowing. This is unsurprising really as net debt in the UK currently stands at £1,469 billion!
• Whoever gets elected, one in ten MPs will be different people as at least 77 of the current MPs are standing down.
• If Labour win the election, Ed Miliband will be the first atheist prime minister of the UK.
• There have been 22 prime ministers in the UK since 1900 and 13 of them were not voted in at a general election.
• The youngest ever prime minister was William Pitt the Younger who was only 24.
• In the last general election only 61.5% of those entitled to vote did. In the recent Scottish referendum, 84.5% voted.
• The most marginal seat in the entire country is here in London. In 2010 Glenda Jackson won her seat, Hampstead and Kilburn by a mere 42 votes.
• The safest seat is Liverpool Walton, where the Labour MP Steve Rotherham has a majority of 57.7%.
• There are only 148 female MPs compared to 502 male MPs.
• 2% of MPs were educated at either Oxford or Cambridge.
• £31.1m was spent by the political parties in the last election.
• David Cameron is hoping his slimline new look will help his campaign, admitting that he has been on an ‘election diet’ in which he has given up bread.
• While the Prime Minister has successfully given up carbs, Nick Clegg has admitted that he has been unable to give up smoking due to the stresses of the job.