Here’s the proportion of local election candidates of the three main parties who were female over the last twenty-five years. As you can see, proportions for all three parties grew in the late ’80s and since then have stalled (Lib Dems, Conservatives) or only crept up (Labour), all remaining under 40%.
The dips every four years are due to county council elections having a much lower proportion of female candidates than other local elections.
So, what do you make of this? Does it matter? Should the flat trend for the Liberal Democrats be a cause for concern? And why has no party seen its proportion get close to the proportion in the adult population?
Thanks to Michael Thrasher of the University of Plymouth for supplying the data and graph.