UK ELECTIONS ANALYSIS AND THE ALL-WOMEN SHORTLIST FACTOR Essay Example
1UK ELECTIONS ANALYSIS AND THE ALL-WOMEN SHORTLIST FACTOR
UK ELECTIONS ANALYSIS AND THE ALL-WOMEN SHORTLIST FACTOR
A graph showing UK general election results from 1950-2010 and the resultant governments
A graph showing the share of vote by party: UK General elections, 1918-2015.
LD- LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
Source: Briefing Paper p.6 http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN01250/SN01250.
In the UK, Six types of elections are held; the general elections, the developed parliament elections, parliament elections, local elections, Police and crime elections and Mayoral elections.
The elections are held after fixed periods. Six electoral systems are normally used; first past the post system, multimember system, party list, single transferable vote, additional member system and the supplementary vote system.
Political parties play an important role in the United Kingdom elections. Whether big or small, every political party must be registered with the Electoral Commission.
The share of votes between the largest two political parties fell to 65%.
In 2015 the total number of United Kingdom parliamentary voters was 44,722,000. This is represents 1.3% drop from 2014. In 2015 the total number of United Kingdom local voters was 46,204,700 which is 1.3% drop from that of 2014.
Voter turnout in the United Kingdom has not been uniform. In 1992 there was a drop from 77%, a drop from 71% in 1997 another drop from 59% in 2001. However a systematic increase of electors has been registered from 2005 to the current year. Suffice to say in 2005 there was an increase to 61%, then to 65% in 2010 and to 66% in 2015.
During the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence a breaking record of 84.5% and 90% parliamentary and local authorities’ electors’ turnout was recorded (Gavazza et. al, 2015)
England, Wales and Scotland represented a decrease in electors while N. Ireland represented an increase of the same. The largest decrease was noted in London and South East in 2014 and 2015 while all the other regions of England represented a partial increase in the number of electors. East Midland was the only exception during this period as it represented an increase of 0.02%.
Arguments have been laid by the British parties and campaigners who are proposing that the first past post system should be replaced with another. Some British pressure groups in liberal democrats have been advocating for a proportional representation system.
A graph showing the number of female members elected from each party in each UK election since 1945.
Source: house of Commons Research Papers 01/75, 05/33, 10/36
ALL-women shortlists is a political practice that is geared towards increasing the number of women elected to parliament in every parliamentary election. The Labour Party is the only political party using this practice in the United Kingdom.
This method has been used widely in an effort to increase the proportion of women elected to parliament.
The Labour Party ensures that there is at least one statutory female in each of their shortlists though, only a few get elected from this pool
The international research has revealed that the use of all-women shortlist can improve the proportion of women from less to more. A YouGov poll conducted in August 2014, revealed that 56% of the British voting population are extremely opposed to this plan. However, the number of men opposed to the system is more than that of women. It indicated that 63% of men and 51% of women are against the system. Moreover, a research done by David and Paul (2014) showed that women chosen through the all-women shortlist were likely to win the subsequent parliamentary elections.
The all-women shortlist promotes an equal society where, men-women power is balanced (Campbell & Childs, 2015). This is because a fairly equal number of women is represented in parliament hence a channel for expressing their interests is provided.
The recent research records in the United Kingdom reveal that the All-women shortlist scheme has produced women-elects who turn out to be the most vocal in the UK. The women selected through this plan are said to have more prior experience than their male counterparts and hence they perform better (Campbell $ Childs, 2015). Records show that women ask and answer a total of up to 78 questions in one year. This is a big number when compared to men representatives who answer only 37 in a year.
It is through all-women shortlist that vocal female MPs like Lisa Nandy, Heid Alexander and Lilian Greenwood. Perhaps several women personalities like Paula Sherriff and Tulip Siddiq who champion for the rights of women in the United Kingdom parliament could not express their voices today were it not for the all-women scheme.
Previously, there was an idea that all-women shortlist are an hindrance to the state’s economic and political progress, but this has been proven wrong by the recent studies which have shown that the more the number of women elected to parliament, the more stable the economic and political status.
The Labour party tries to eradicate issues facing women like, day-in day-out oppression, sexism and gender discrimination. The Labour party has battled to eradicate this issues by employing all-women shortlist system in parliament representation of women.
In the United Kingdom, women make up 51% of the population but out of this total, this total is made from the 29% of MPs the 43% of the Labour Party.
Though, this strategy has been criticized by other organizations as working against men.
In 1997, 100 women were elected through this program, and their number has been increasing gradually ever since.
The greatest achievement of all-women shortlist was the election of Britain’s first female home secretary in June 2007, Jacqui Smith.
Gavazza, A., Nardotto, M. and Valletti, T.M., 2015. Internet and politics: Evidence from UK local elections and local government policies. Available at SSRN 2700587.
Campbell, R. and Childs, S., 2015. All aboard the pink battle bus? Women voters, women’s issues, candidates and party leaders. Parliamentary Affairs, 68(suppl 1), pp.206-223.
Campbell, R. and Childs, S., 2015. Conservatism, feminisation and the representation of women in UK politics. British Politics, 10(2), pp.148-168.
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