More Welsh Women MPs Expected
There are 211 women Members of the House of Commons. At 32%, this is an all-time high. The proportion of women grew slowly until the 1990s. Since 1918, 494 women have been elected to the House of Commons. Only 18 Welsh female Members of Parliament have been returned to Westminster since 1918, and there are currently 12 Welsh Women MPs, 10 from Labour, 1 from Plaid Cymru and 1 representing the Liberal Democrats.
Since the announcement of the 2019 General Election, we have been collecting data on the gender of prospective candidates for all the parties in Wales and whether they are situated in “winnable seats”. We’ve defined winnable seats as a seat with a majority of less than 10%. Here’s a reminder of what we’ve found.
You can see our infographic on women in winnable seats here.
Clearly, the Labour Party has been most successful in ensuring as many women candidates are put forward not only in seats in Wales, but winnable seats. At this General Election there will be a majority of women candidates for Labour in Wales. Since 1997 the Labour Party has adopted all-women shortlists (AWS) for some seats, particularly where the AM or MP for the seat has always been male. With several male Labour MPs standing down this General Election, the Welsh Executive Committee made a bold and progressive decision to ensure that AWS would be used to select candidates in all these newly vacant seats.
In a distant second, the Conservative Party only have 2 female candidates in winnable seats to date: Brecon and Radnorshire and Gower. Whilst the party has mentoring organisations for women members, the Conservative Women’s Organisation and Women 2 Win, it has so far not introduced positive action to promote gender parity.
Both the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru have one female candidate in winnable seats, Brecon and Radnorshire for the Liberal Democrats and Dwyfor Meirionydd for Plaid Cymru. Both candidates up until the announcement of the General Election were the sitting MPs for the respective constituencies. Neither party has introduced positive action to increase the number of female representation at Parliament.
For a bird's eye view.
Am olwg oddi uchod.
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