General Election 2015: women MPs and candidates

Women MPs

After the 2015 election, 29% of MPs are women, compared to 23% in 2010. 191 women were elected at the 2015 General election, 44 more than in 2010. 191 is the highest ever number of women in the House of Commons.

Women MPs by party include: 99 Labour, 68 Conservative, 20 SNP and no Liberal Democrats.

Labour MPs are just over half (52%) of all women MPs and Conservative 36%. The Labour proportion is higher  relative to their 35% share of total MPs and the Conservative proportion is lower than their 51% of all MPs of both sexes.

Men and Women MPs by party

menpie womenpie

The number of women MPs and the proportions for their party grew for each of the three largest parties currently in the Commons, Conservative, Labour and SNP.  Now, 43% of Labour MPs are women and 21% of Conservative and 36% of SNP. The large loss of Liberal Democrat seats at the election left them with 8 MPs, none of whom is female.

Women MPs by party 2010 and 2015

table

Women Candidates

1,033 (26%) of the 3,971 candidates at the 2015 General Election were women.

In the 2015 Election, women comprised:

  • 26% of Conservative candidates
  • 26% of Liberal Democrat candidates
  • 34% of Labour candidates
  • 36% of SNP candidates

For Labour candidates the proportion of women was higher in seats they previously held and those with the narrowest margin for them to win, than in less winnable seats (those which required a higher percentage majority to be overturned). For the Conservatives the opposite is the case, sitting MPs and seats which would be most easily won had lower proportions of women candidates than those which were less winnable.

MFcands

Marginality is measured as the difference in percentage vote share of the party’s candidate from the winning candidate or, in seats won by the party, from the candidate in second place at the 2010 election. A positive marginality means the party won the seat in 2010. Seats with a negative marginality are those that party did not win in 2010 – a seat with marginality between -0% to -10% should be easier for that party to win than one where the marginality is between -20% to -30%.

Of the 650 constituencies in the UK:

  • 16%, 102, had no women candidates
  • 227 had just one woman candidate
  • 49% had two or more women candidates
  • there were 575 where less than half the candidates were women
  • there were no constituencies where all candidates were women (in contrast to the 102 in which all candidates were men).

Constituencies by number of candidates by gender

womencands

Mencands

 The bars show the number of constituencies by the number of male and female candidates. For example, there were 227 constituencies with one woman candidate.

Richard Cracknell