The House of Smiles: these MPs and Lords are the happiest

  • Members of Sinn Féin smile the most
  • One in four Liberal Democrats looks serious
  • In the House of Lords women smile twice as often as men

Often, debates in Parliament are full of emotions and confrontations, but MPs also have reason to smile. European communications agency Tonka wanted to know which MPs, and which of the two Houses smile the most. What we’ve found is that almost two thirds of the MPs wear a smile in their profile pictures. One in four MPs shows a more reserved smile, while over 9% have a serious look on their faces.


House of Commons

Members of the Conservative Party, Sinn Féin and the SNP appear to be the happiest
Of all the parties, Sinn Féin is the happiest, with about 83% sporting a smile. Members of the Scottish National Party are in second place, with over 68% smiling. However, nearly 29% of the Scottish MPs smile more timidly. Almost two thirds of the Conservatives show a warm smile and around 28% smile gently.

Liberal Democrats don’t smile much
The Lib Dems and Labour can’t find their smiles, it seems: one in four of them look into the camera with a serious face. It’s a similar story with Labour. A total of 11% look serious and only a quarter of Labour MPs wear a full smile.

Women look happier than men
Female MPs take a clear lead in our smile ranking. Nearly 78% of them look into the camera with a broad smile, while among men, it’s only 59%, and 12% don’t smile at all. That is four times as many serious faces as the women show (3%).

House of Lords

Is the House of Lords more or less happy than the House of Commons?
Judging by their official profile pictures, the Lords aren’t anywhere near as happy as MPs: less than 40% of them smile with their teeth showing and a third of them smile gently. Here again, as well as in the House of Commons, more than a quarter of the Lords look serious into the camera.

Who smiles the least?
Rarely ever do the Crossbenchers grin into the camera: almost a third of them don’t smile at all and only 29% show their teeth to the cameraman. Nearly 40% smile only a little bit. The Conservatives are also more reluctant to smile and about 30% remained serious in front of the camera.

Women versus men in the House of Lords
Just as in the House of Commons, women smile more than men in the House of Lords. More than 58% of them smile fully, compared to just 31% of the men. Slightly more than one third of the men kept a straight face, while among women, only one in ten doesn’t smile at all.

House of Commons and House of Lords combined

The figures for the House of Commons and House of Lords combined

  • More than 80.5% smile
  • About half of them smile with their teeth showing (50.5%)
  • Around ⅓ of them smile with the mouth closed
  • Almost 20% have a serious face

Men versus women: who is happier?

In contrast to their male counterparts, women in both Houses appear happier: more than 68% express their happiness with a smile in their profile picture and around 20% show a more reserved smile with no teeth. Only less than 8% didn’t smile at all. Men are more reluctant to show a full beam. Around a third of them don’t show their teeth in the pictures and almost 25% wear no smile. However, 43% of them smile with their teeth showing (which is still 20% less than among the women).