Following on from Belfast Barman’s earlier post, some statistics about the 138 candidates nominated for Northern Ireland’s 18 Westminster constituencies.
One constituency has all male candidates: Belfast West.
Only one constituency has more women than men standing: Fermanagh and South Tyrone.
No party has more than 40% female candidates. Overall 24.6% of candidates are female; 75.4% are male.
Of the parties running more than 5 candidates, 2 unionist parties have ended up not running any female candidates: DUP (16 male candidates); UKIP (10 male candidates). The unionist pact ruled the DUP’s Arlene Foster out of standing in Fermanagh and South Tyrone … but while eight of their sitting MPs are men, the other eight candidates contesting elections all ended up as male. [Updated to correct TUV figure]
[There are many reasons for high rates of male candidates. The subject of gender quotas was discussed by Prof Yvonne Galligan as part of the recent Imagine!2015 Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics. Many parties seem stuck somewhere in the middle of the “eligible -> aspiring -> nominated -> elected” pipeline.]
Two constituencies have just 5 candidates (Fermanagh and South Tyrone, Newry and Armagh); North Down has 10 candidates, while a further 6 constituencies have 9 candidates. (The average number of candidates per constituency is 7.67.)
Three parties are running candidates in all 18 constituencies: Alliance, SDLP and Sinn Féin.
Two parties are running 16 candidates: Conservatives had no one in Belfast North or Fermanagh and South Tyrone; due to the pact DUP have no one in Fermanagh and South Tyrone or Newry and Armagh while UUP have no one in Belfast East, Belfast North or North Down.
Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol are running four candidates in East Londonderry, North Down, Upper Bann and West Tyrone.
Five independents are standing: Fra Hughes (Belfast North); Jonny Orr (Lagan Valley); Thomas Stephen Palmer (North Antrim); Sylvia Hermon (North Down); Susan-Anne White (West Tyrone).
Eleven of the sixteen Conservative candidates have addresses outside Northern Ireland.
The most common candidate surnames are Kelly and Wilson with four candidates each. The bottom three candidates on the East Antrim ballot paper will all be Wilson – Alex (Conservative), Ruth (TUV) and Sammy (DUP).
Only one sitting MP will be at the top of their ballot paper: Nigel Dodds in Belfast North.
Four sitting MPs will be at the bottom of their constituencies ballot papers: Sammy Wilson (East Antrim), William McCrea (South Antrim), Jim Shannon (Strangford), David Simpson (Upper Bann).
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For reference, here’s how candidates fared at the 2014 Local Government election where 24.8% of candidates were women and 25.3% of representatives elected were women.
Alan Meban. Tweets as @alaninbelfast. Blogs about cinema and theatre over at Alan in Belfast. A freelancer who writes about and reports from civic, academic and political events, reviews cultural performances, chairs discussions, and live-tweets, streams and records lectures and conferences. He delivers social media training, coaching and consultancy, produces podcasts, is a member of Ofcom’s Advisory Committee for Northern Ireland, FactCheckNI board member, and is a member of the Corrymeela Community.