And, as you'll see below, particularly on the issue of women's representation I wouldn't be proud of it either. They may come out of this will a lower percentage of women in their caucus than the status quo of 28%.
Historical representation of women:
NB: Some of this section I've repeated or re-written from the 2008 version.
By my reckoning National have had 36 female MPs in their history to date, based on counting from this list and adding Katrina Shanks, plus the new 2008 intake of 5 women.
According to the Elections website their first female MP was Mary Polson who won a by-election in 1942 and stood down at the next election. According to National's history page, their first female MP, Hilda Ross, was elected in 1945 and held ministerial office from 1949 to 1957. After that National did not have another woman in Cabinet until Ruth Richardson et al in 1990.
Other notable female MPs from National have included renowned feminist Marilyn Waring and NZ's first female Prime Minister Jenny Shipley, who held the big swivelly chair from her successful coup for the party leadership in 1997 until National's defeat in the 1999 general election. She was overthrown by Bill English as leader of National in 2001. National has had eleven parliamentary leaders in its history, of which Shipley has been the only woman to date. Of their 17 presidents so far, three have been female.
2008 National Party List:
Women represented across the whole list: 18 out of 73 (25%), with 20% in the top ten, and top twenty.
2008 National electorate selections
My assessment in September 2008 was thus:
- Possible post election electorate seat MPs for National, 26% female
- In unwinnable electorate seats, 25% of National candidates are women
Current representation of women:
National currently have 16 female MPs in their caucus of 58, making 28%. The highest ranked woman in their caucus is at no 7 (Judith Collins), with Anne Tolley at 8, and then it's men all the way to Georgina Te Heu Heu at 15. Te Heu Heu is retiring at this election. In regard to Cabinet Ministers - Collins, Tolley and Te Heu Heu have Beehive offices, as well as Paula Bennett, Kate Wilkinson and Hekia Parata, 6 out of 20 (30%).
National's Board of Directors has 9 spots, of which 2 are currently filled by women (22%). The current party president, leader and deputy leader are all men. National have lost one female MP during this term - Pansy Wong, who resigned from her seat and was replaced by a male National MP (Jami-Lee Ross) who won a by-election earlier this year.
2011 National Party List:
Women represented across the whole list: 24 out of 75 (32%), with 20% in the top ten, and 25% in the top twenty.
Top 5 - None (yes that's right, none) 0/5 = 0%
Top 10 - Two (Collins at 7, Anne Tolley at 8) 2/10 = 20%
Top 20 - Four (plus Paula Bennett at 14, Kate Wilkinson at 17, Hekia Parata at 18) 5/20 = 25%
Top 30 - Six (plus Jo Goodhew at 23, Amy Adams at 28) 7/30 = 23%
Top 40 - Ten (plus Nikki Kaye at 33, Melissa Lee at 34, Katrina Shanks at 38) 10/40 = 25%
Top 50 - Fourteen (plus at Jacqui Dean at 41, Nicky Wagner at 42, Louise Upston at 44, Dr Jackie Blue at 46,) 14/50 = 28%
Top 60 - Fifteen (plus Maggie Barry at 58, ) 15/60 = 25%
Top 70 - Twenty One (Claudette Hauiti at 63, Joanne Hayes at 64, Leonie Hapeta at 65, Heather Tanner at 68, Denise Krum at 69, Carolyn O'Fallon at 70) 21/70 = 30%
Top 75 - Twenty Four (Viv Gurrey at 71, Karen Rolleston at 72, Linda Cooper at 74) 24/75 = 32%
Note there are no new women parachuted up the list at all this time, as both new additions (Jian Yang and Alfred Ngaro) are men. (Last time Parata and Lee were put up quite high). In the top 60 I have hardly had to change the calculations from last time. The overall percentage of women on the list is lifted only because National have ranked a whole heap of women, more than there are men, below 60.
2011 National Party electorate candidates:
National does not stand in the seven Maori seats, but do contest every other electorate, or at least put up a candidate.
Safe National: 7 out of 33 National nominations held by women (21%)
Five safe National seats have had a selection contest due to the incumbent standing down, and only one woman has succeeded in those - Maggie Barry for North Shore (replacing Wayne Mapp).
Marginals: 4 out of 11 National nominations held by women (36%)
Of the two new candidates it is an even gender split. Both of these seats are probably more likely to be held by Labour imho.
- Auckland Central - Nikki Kaye (incumbent) - probably stay National
- Hamilton West - Tim McIndoe (incumbent) - probably stay National
- Mana - Hekia Parata (List MP) - probably stay Labour
- Maungakiekie - Sam Lotu-Iiga (incumbent) - probably stay National
- New Plymouth - Jonathan Young (incumbent) - too close
- Northcote - Jonathan Coleman (incumbent) - probably stay National
- Palmerston North - Leonie Hapeta (new candidate) - probably stay Labour
- Rimutaka - Jonathan Fletcher (new candidate) - probably stay Labour
- Rotorua - Todd McClay (incumbent) - probably stay National
- Waitakere - Paula Bennett (incumbent) - too close
- West Coast-Tasman - Chris Auchinvole (incumbent) - too close
All but 2 of the National women contesting safe seats for other parties are currently MPs through the party list. Both of those two (Claudette Hauiti and Joanne Hayes) are ranked after 60 on the list, although close enough that they may make it in if National polls highly, or through mid-term List retirements.
To use the same measures as last time, for comparison:
- Possible post election electorate seat MPs for National, 25% female (i.e. safe + marginals)
- In unwinnable electorate seats, 37% of National candidates are women
I'm going to assume 60 MPs total for National,just because I am. If marginals go to incumbents, there will be 41 electorate MPs for National, of whom 9 will be women (22%). Taking the first 19 people off the list who haven't got in through electorates the first female List MP would be Wilkinson at 17 (6th in off the list). Six women would come in from the list. This would give a caucus 25% female (15/60). This is lower than their current percentage of women (28%).
It's really disappointing that National haven't made much progress in their electorate seats this time around. Of the five safe National seats without an incumbent all but one went to men. Which oddly enough contributes to maintaining their roughly 20-25% female caucus make-up.
Clearly there is a problem here, and you have to ask; why isn't National selecting high quality female candidates to be MPs?
Other comments on candidate diversity:
As with 2008, the two people parachuted up the list are from non-Pakeha ethnic backgrounds (Asian and Pacific). There are quite a lot of brown faces further down the list, particularly amongst the female candidates, but few of those are likely to make it in. In regard to sexual identity I'm only aware of Finlayson as openly identifying as gay, ETA and Claudette Hauiti as lesbian (thanks stumble in comments) and I'd appreciate reader input on that matter (just who is open about it thanks, not interested in speculating) and the issue of people with disabilities.
National Party list on NZ Herald website
David Farrar's analysis of National's list
Index of A Women's Place posts for 2008 & 2011 - including Labour, Act and the Greens for 2011
Idiot/Savant's analysis of National's list