Congratulations to Sarah Yong, just selected as the Liberal Democrat prospective candidate in Somerton and Frome, where she will be hoping to succeed fellow Lib Dem David Heath when he retires in 2015.
That now makes it four completed selections in seats where male Lib Dem MPs are retiring, and all four have selected a woman. The full list of selections for seats held by the party is:
- Alan Beith, Berwick-upon-Tweed – Julie Pörksen selected
- Annette Brooke, Mid Dorset and North Poole – Vikki Slade selected
- Malcolm Bruce, Gordon – Christine Jardine selected
- David Heath, Somerton and Frome – Sarah Yong selected
- Andrew Stunell, Hazel Grove – Lisa Smart selected
- Sarah Teather, Brent Central – Ibrahim Taguri selected
As the list shows, in the two seats where female Liberal Democrat MPs are standing down, the party has also selected a diverse team – a woman and a BME man (important as the Parliamentary Party is, as the rhyming phrase often used puts it, both pale and male).
Does it matter overall? Yes it does, because selecting candidates is about selecting who will join a wider Liberal Democrat team, in that seat and in the country as a whole. It’s that team perspective which is so important in understanding why simply looking a long list of individual seats which have voted for a white man and saying, ‘well, what’s the problem if they’re the best person for the job?’ misses the point. Politics is a team enterprise.