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Centre for Women & Democracy
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Women candidates at all-time high

27 Apr, 2015

At 26%, the level of women candidates has hit an all-time high for the 2015 general election.

In 2010, only 21% of candidates were women, and 20% in 2005.

However, the new high represents only an 8% increase on the 1997 level (18%), when record numbers of women were elected.

The Green Party leads the field for the level of women standing (37%), followed by the SNP (36%), Labour (34%), the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative Parties (both on 26%), and Plaid Cymru (25%). At just 12%, UKIP lag behind the rest of the main parties, and are the only party to be fielding fewer women than in 2010.

CFWD Director Nan Sloane said:

'Although this increase in candidates is encouraging, it is still well below the levels we would like to see, and significantly below the levels needed to get the UK anywhere near having a Parliament in which women and men are equally represented. In the last Parliament 23% of MPs were women, and although it seems almost certain that there will be more in the next one, it remains to be seen whether or not the improved rate of women candidates will result in a meaningful improvement in women legislators.'

CFWD will be publishing an analysis of the election results as part of Sex & Power 2015: Who runs Britain? due to be published in late June.