Part 2 of 2 looking at gender equality in Medway politics. This part looks at the parliamentary candidates, while the previous one looked at the council.
In our previous post, we discovered that gender equality for council candidates is something sorely lacking, and that the council will likely include less women following the election than the small number it already had.
From here, it’s only natural to move onto the parliamentary candidates to see how the parties are doing there. At first glance, it doesn’t look much better, with each constituency looking like this:
Rochester & Strood is definitely the winner here, with half of the candidates standing for the seat being women. This is an improvement over the by-election, where out of the 13 candidates, only 4 were women, and one of those was a sex worker and one was a racist. This in turn is an improvement on 2010, when only one candidate was a woman. Have a gold star, Rochester & Strood!
Sadly, not much has changed in the other two constituencies. In 2010, Gillingham & Rainham only had one female candidate, so little change there, and Chatham & Aylesford actually had two, so there’s been a step backwards in that particular seat.
Still, three seats isn’t necessarily the best sample size for this kind of analysis. Let’s take a look at the individual parties to see if we can learn anything about progress there:
Overall, the “main” parties aren’t doing too bad when it comes to female candidates. When there’s only three seats, it’s hard to argue that any party standing one or two women isn’t doing enough, so well done to everyone except UKIP and the Greens. One of those seems rather more surprising than the other, but both are in line with how well those parties have done with council representation.
But how many women are actually in a winnable position? Here, again, things aren’t too bad. Tracey Crouch is very likely to retain Chatham & Aylesford, and while the authors of this blog disagree on whether Kelly Tolhurst will win in Rochester & Strood, she is in a strong position to do so. So it’s almost certain than Medway will have one female MP following the election, and quite possible it could have two. Which is a hell of a lot better than it is going to manage at a council level.