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Centre for Women & Democracy
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Tel: 0113 234 6500

E-mail: info@cfwd.org.uk

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Women set to do well in European Elections

14 Jan, 2014

The number of UK women Members of the European Parliament is set to increase after the elections in May 2014, a new report from the Centre for Women & Democracy has found.

Currently, 22 (32 percent) of the UK's 70 MEPs are women. Across Europe, 35 percent of MEPs are female.

The 2014 European elections will take place in the UK on Thursday, 22 May, with the results being counted on Sunday 25 May once polling across all 28 member states has finished.

The increase in UK women MEPs is likely because the Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green Parties have all increased the number of women on their European electoral lists. The percentage of women on UKIP's list has so far remained static at 19 percent, whilst for the Conservatives the level of women candidates has fallen from 32 to 30 percent.

For European elections, the UK uses a form of proportional representation known as the de Hondt system, which requires parties to nominate lists of candidates in each European constituency. [1]

As a result, parties cannot reasonably expect to get more than two or three of their candidates elected in any given region. 67 (59 percent) of the 114 women candidates so far declared by the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party, UKIP and the BNP occupy one of the top three slots on their respective lists, which suggests that women could do well in May.

The most recent polling on voting intentions (Survation, 3 January 2014) suggests that Labour and UKIP will do significantly better than in the 2009 European elections.

CFWD's new report Women in the 2014 European Elections has details of the background to the elections and an analysis of the candidates for all the main parties.

 

For more information contact the Centre for Women & Democracy

Tel: 0113 234 6500
Email: cfwd@cfwd.org.uk


[1] In each region, parties nominate a list of candidates equal to the number of MEPs to be elected. These lists are ranked by the parties themselves, and electors then vote for the party rather than individual candidates. Once the votes have been cast, they are counted and a calculation applied to distribute the seats between the parties.