Labour first major party to field more women candidates than men

Labour to field more women than men, including leader Kezia Dugdale. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Labour to field more women than men, including leader Kezia Dugdale. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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LABOUR will make history in this year’s elections when it becomes the first major party to field more women candidates than men.

Over half (53%) of its candidates in constituency seats are female - a higher proportion than any other mainstream party.

Labour has nearly doubled the number of female candidates it is fielding in these seats, from 20 in 2011 to 39 in 2016.

A total of 113 women are standing in the constituency contests, comprising 36% of all candidates.

This is up from 25% in 2011. It is also the highest number in the history of the parliament.

For the SNP, women comprise roughly four out of every 10 candidates in constituency seats.

Just over a third of Lib Dem candidates are women, while the number for the Conservatives is almost one in five.

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Of the four main parties, only the Tories have not increased the number of female candidates for constituency contests, fielding 14 in both 2011 and 2016.

Looking at the regional seats, here women make up an even greater percentage of the total candidates: 41%, up from 29% in 2011.

Labour once again has the greatest proportion of female candidates: exactly half (50%).

The SNP is close behind on 46%, the Lib Dems have 42% and the Conservatives have 20%.

A total of 213 women are on the regional lists.

According to the Press Association (PA), 84 women are standing in both the constituency and regional contests.

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Overall, 313 candidates are contesting the 73 constituency seats in this year’s Scottish elections, up from 305 in 2011, while 521 are standing for the regional lists (up from 427).

Some 10 parties are fielding candidates in constituency seats, not including independents.

A higher number of parties are standing in the regional contests: a total of 16, including the Women’s Equality Party (10 candidates), the Scottish Libertarian Party (three candidates), the Animal Welfare Party (two candidates) and the Communist Party of Great Britain (one candidate).

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