I know you’ve been wondering what are the most common names among parliamentary candidates standing for election next Thursday May 7th? I was too, so I’ve had a play with the excellent data available for all at https://yournextmp.com/. I have data for 3971 candidates, which the BBC seem to confirm is everyone. I understand that this is crowdsourced data, so a disclaimer applies here – I have not verified this data and I imagine there are almost certainly spelling mistakes that will affect the frequency of names, as well as inconsistencies around ‘Steven’, ‘Stephen’, etc. However, we shouldn’t let that stop us answering these critical questions about our democracy, so let’s start.

Top 10 most common names of Parliamentary candidates – Name (frequency)

1. David (126)

2. John (101)

3. Paul (86)

4. Mark (74)

5. Chris (71)

6. Peter (64)

7. Richard (61)

8. Andrew (59)

9. James (58)

10. Ian / Stephen (50)

Note – no (traditionally) women’s names are in the top 10, though obviously ‘Chris’ is commonly used for both men and women (however, see below for evidence that only 1 woman is listed as ‘Chris’). Helen is the most common woman’s name with a frequency of 22.

Top 10 most common names among male candidates

1. David (126)

2. John (101)

3. Paul (86)

4. Mark (74)

5. Chris (70)

6. Peter (64)

7. Richard (61)

8. Andrew (59)

9. James (58)

10. Ian/Stephen (50)

 

Top 10 most common names among female candidates

1. Helen (22)

2. Sarah (17)

3. Rebecca (14)

4. Emma/Mary (13)

5. Angela/Anne/Caroline/Jane/Kate/Lisa (12)

6. Ann/Karen/Louise (11)

7. Alison/Claire/Elizabeth/Liz/Lucy/Margaret (10)

8. Anna/Catherine/Charlotte/Jenny/Jo/Lucy/Laura/Michelle/Nicola/Rachel/Ruth/Sue (9)

9. Diana/Emily/Julia/Susan/Victoria (8)

10. Sandra (7)

You get the picture – there are a lot more men standing than women.

 

Top 5 Labour candidate names

1. Chris (16)

2. David (15)

3. John (14)

4. Michael (12)

5. Paul (9)

 

Top 5 Conservative candidate names

1. David (20)

2. James (18)

3. Mark (15)

4. Andrew/Chris (14)

5. Simon (12)

 

Top 5 UKIP candidate names

1. David (28)

2. John (23)

3. Paul (20)

4. Peter/Richard (18)

5. Mark (16)

 

The Lib Dems were basically the same as these. There’s not enough variation in SNP candidates to make a top 5 worthwhile, but I can tell you that Angus is the most common candidate name…along with Chris/John/Neil/Stewart/Stuart – all at a frequency of 2.

What does this tell us? Not that much that we didn’t already know – basically, lots of people who run for Parliament are British men, often with biblical names. There are fewer women, and men called Angus are probably SNP candidates.

 

What’s in a name?