There is a record number of women set to be elected to the House of Commons, with 30% compared to just 25% in the last parliament, it has been revealed.
The total forecast for female MPs is set to reach more than 190. Last year in parliament a total of 142 women were elected; that included 81 for Labour and 48 for the Conservatives.
The total rose to 148 by the end of last parliament, after six by-election victories by women, after there were only seven female Liberal Democrat MPs and a collective number of six amongst other parties.
However, the number of female candidates will still be shy of the record of women in Scottish Parliament, with 35% being female MPs, the Welsh Assembly have a staggering 40%, and London Assembly have 30%. One-third of Britain’s representatives at the European Parliament are also women.
Yesterday, an estimated 96 women were defending safe seats as well as 16 others in more marginal constituencies, including Brighton Pavilion, where Labour’s Purna Sen is attempting to win the seat from Green’s Caroline Lucas, there is bound to be a female victor somewhere.
The Electoral Reform Society (ERS), has predicted that the female contingent would rise 148 to 192; making it the fastest rate of progress since the number of female MPs doubled in 1997. This rise would inevitably put the UK at 36th in the world rankings for female parliamentary representation, moving us up from our current position at 56th.
ERS called for all parties to “redouble their efforts to select women in winnable seats” but added “above all, we want to see the UK introduce a voting system that would give us a Parliament that more closely represents the people”.
Although this seems a small step in the right direction, the Fawcett Society ,which campaigns for equality, said: “Though there might be a significant increase in the number of women MPs, we will still be nowhere near parity.”