New research by the Electoral Reform Society predicts that there will be a significant increase in the number of female parliamentarians in Westminster. The study forecasts that the number of female MPs could rise from 148 to 192 which would represent 29.5% of the House of Commons, and an increase of 6.6%; the fastest surge in female political participation since 1997.
If the findings are realised, the UK would move, on today’s figures, from 56th to 36th in the world rankings for female MP representation.
The predicted increase is coupled with a boost to female selection from the established parties, the Tories could increase their female parliamentarians from 16% – 20%, and Labour from 34% – 41%.
Darren Hughes, of the Electoral Reform Society added:
“One of the chief reasons why people are increasingly alienated from our politics is the fact that Westminster looks so little like the people it is there to represent. At the moment, barely one in five MPs are women, which simply isn’t good enough.
“We desperately need to see more women in Parliament, and a general election gives parties a chance to correct the imbalance. Our analysis suggests that parties are starting to step up to the challenge.
“But progress is still incredibly slow. It’s made slower by our broken voting system which creates hundreds of artificially safe seats and works against parties trying to force change.
“After this election, we want to see parties redouble their efforts to select women in winnable seats. But above all, we want to see the UK introduce a voting system that would give us a Parliament that more closely represents the people.”