The Liberal Democrat gender gap: data for different levels of election

Last month I highlighted how the proportion of Liberal Democrat local election candidates who are female is, though relatively good, flat-lining well below the proportion of the electorate or the party membership which is female.

One reason for presenting the figures is that I think local government representation is much under-discussed when talking about the diversity (or not) of the party’s candidates. It’s important both in its own right (especially as councillors often wield more power than MPs) and also because local government is one route to becoming a candidate at other levels of government subsequently.

Following on from that, here are some further figures putting local government into context, showing what proportion of the Liberal Democrats elected at each level are female and how that compares to the female proportion for those elected from any party:

55% European Parliament (+23%)
50% Welsh Assembly (+3%)
32% Welsh local councils  (+7%)
32% English local councils (+7%)
31% Scottish local councils (+9%)
12% Westminster Parliament (-10%)
12% Scottish Parliament (-28%)

Data from “Does ‘order’ matter? An examination of women’s descriptive representation: systemic and  contextual features of 1st and 2nd order elections in the UK” by Lisa Harrison and Elizabeth Evans.

3 responses to “The Liberal Democrat gender gap: data for different levels of election”

  1. Is it just luck that the Welsh have done rather better than us in Scotland with regard to female representation, despite operating under the same electoral system? Or have they taken any action to address the situation, which in Scotland we haven’t?

  2. Bernard – in terms of formal processes, not that I’m aware of, though perhaps there’s been a different amount of emphasis on informal activities such as training and mentoring?

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