Saturday, 8 May 2010

more on the UK elections

so while britain waits for a goverment to be formed, it's interesting to consider the make up of parliament. it seems that there has a been a very small rise in the number of women MPs:

The percentage of women MPs has risen by just 2% from 19.5% to 21.5% as a result of the election, according to the Centre for Women and Democracy.

Based on provisional figures, it says the number of Labour women has fallen from 94 to below 80 – about 30% of Labour MPs. The number of Conservative women has risen from 18 to about 48 – about 16% of Conservative MPs and the number of Liberal Democrat women has fallen from 9 to 7 – about 13% of Liberal Democrat MPs.

It acknowledges that its figures do not include the 23 seats still to declare at the time of writing, but says that, statistically, these seats can make little difference to the outcome.

for the first time, there are three muslim women MPs:

Three Labour candidates, Shabana Mahmood in Birmingham Ladywood, Rushanara Ali in Bethnal Green and Bow, and Yasmin Qureshi inBolton South East, became Britain's first female Muslim MPs, with majorities of more than 8,000.

some other firsts:

Helen Grant is the first black woman to represent the Conservatives at Westminster, comfortably retaining Ann Widdecombe's old seat at Maidstone and the Weald.

Labour's Chi Onwurah is the first African woman to win a parliamentary seat, in Newcastle Central, and Priti Patel became the Tories' first Asian female MP, winning Witham in Essex to become one of 19 Asian MPs.

more good news is that the number of ethnic minority MPs has almost doubled, from 14 to 27. this had an impact in encouraging more minority voters to get out and vote.

i really hope that the lib-dems hold out for proportional representation as a bottom line in coalition negotiations. if they manage to get it through, these numbers will be significantly better next time around. and just because i love it, i'll end with this picture of the victorious shabana mahmood:

ETA: in other good news, the british national party have lost their one seat in parliament, and also every seat they held in the barking council. yay!


Hugh said...

And now the UK has its first Muslim Cabinet Minister - a female Muslim, no less.

stargazer said...

that's good to hear. i looked it up - she's of pakistani origin. more details from here:

In a double whammy for the most influential Muslim woman in British politics, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi was made the Conservative Party Chairperson and a full cabinet minister....

Lady Warsi in her new role will be responsible for the running of overall affairs of the party and will be a bridge between the parliamentary Conservative Party and the voluntary membership. In fact, shewill oversee the working and operations of the Tory headquarters and will be responsible for reporting the party affairs to the prime minister and vice versa.