Arise, Novice Leader! The Continuing Rise of the Career Politician in Britain



In late 2010 the leaders of the major British political parties were the most inexperienced of the post-war era. This short article discusses this development. It shows how unusual this is, comparing the leaders of 2010 to their post-war predecessors. It demonstrates that this development is unlikely to be some fluke, before considering the causes of the transformation, which it suggests can be attributed to two things: the changes in the election methods used by the political parties – which seem to have led to less experienced candidates being elected – as well as the changing nature of political ‘experience', with career politicians gaining political experience before entering the Commons.