Ukip parliamentary candidates: Brave new world or an old-fashioned failure?

According to the analysis by the Sutton Trust, only one of Ukip's 30 candidates has an Oxbridge background

Richard Garner
Thursday 12 February 2015 01:00
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It seems that if you want to break the mould in the next parliament, your best bet might be to vote Ukip, according to the report on the background of prospective parliamentary candidates in winnable election seats.

According to the analysis by the Sutton Trust – the education charity which campaigns for equal access to education – only one of Ukip's 30 candidates has an Oxbridge background (3 per cent), compared with 28 per cent for the Conservatives and 18 per cent for Labour.

In addition, the percentage representing Ukip who don't have a degree is 35 per cent compared with 10 per cent for the Conservatives and 5 per cent for Labour.

The trouble is, if you go on to the answer to the question: "How many of your candidates went to a private school?", Ukip registers 36 per cent compared with Labour's 19 per cent, with the Conservatives in the lead here at 49 per cent.

Nevertheless, you probably have to ask yourself the question: if you want to vote for this brave new dawn, do you really want to be represented by rather thick public school boys and girls who didn't manage to get to university?

By the way, spare a thought for the Liberal Democrats. There were no statistics on their PPCs in the report. The sad fact is that there were not enough of them in winnable seats to disturb the radar.

While most of the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives seem to be at daggers drawn in the run-up to the election, it's interesting to note the love-in that seems to have been developed between Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and the Conservative education secretary Nicky Morgan.

Twice in the past week, the two have jointly presented education initiatives – one on reducing teachers' workloads and the second on distributing capital spending to run-down schools. Both have issued quotes mirroring each other's and extolling the virtues of the initiatives. It wouldn't have happened in Michael Gove's day.

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