The ideal son-in-law: anything but an MP

July 08, 2015, 9:39 AM UTC

Politics is the least desirable profession for British sons and daughters in law – doctors, lawyers, teachers and architects come top of the list

What kind of person would you want your son or daughter to marry? You might say it doesn't matter as long as they're happy, but a new YouGov poll reveals the extent to which British people really have an ideal in mind.

In a sign that Britain has truly shed any vestiges of deference to politicians, remarkably few people say they'd like their child to ask for an MP's hand in marriage. Despite the prestige and a respectable salary, only 1% would like their daughter or son to bring home an MP, which averages out as last place. 0% say they'd like their daughter to bring home a male model, but 3% say they'd like their son to marry a female one – unsurprisingly men (5%) are more likely to say this than women (1%).

Medicine, perhaps the most morally upstanding career, is the most desirable profession for both sons-in-law (chosen by 38%) and daughters-in-law (35%). A lawyer is equally favoured for sons and daughters to marry (24%), but this profession is out-done by teaching when it comes to daughters-in-law (chosen by 26%). 

This gender difference is echoed with nursing (16% would like their son to marry one but only 5% would like their daughter to) and architecture (23% would like one for a son-in-law but only 14% would like one for a daughter-in-law).

Acting, sport and music, along with a career in sports or the military, barely register as desirable, which may show that instability is a negative when British people think about who their children should marry. Banking also places far down the list (averaging 5% between sons and daughters), as does journalism (4%), likely reflecting the villainous character these careers have acquired.

See the full poll results