One all male constituency; 24.6% candidates are female; 2 unionist parties running all male candidates #GE2015 (updated)

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.

Gender balance by constituency fixed2

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]

Gender balance by party fixed2

[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.)

Candidates per constituency

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.

Candidates per party

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.

local gov gender electability

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  • Pete

    Well, if the constituents feel that having a female representative is important, then they can vote for one, rather than the other men on the ballot paper.

    I would hope people would rather vote on policies, rather than the gender of the candidate though. I don’t see that it makes any difference if the MP is male or female.

  • Gaygael

    Hey alan. Are the workers party not standing both Gemma Weir in north Belfast and Lily Kerr in South belfast?

  • I’ve talked to voters who in protest at party structures still predominantly selecting male candidates (whether due to bias, failing to encourage enough women to enter candidate selection processes, or existing long-standing candidates being reselected) *only* vote for female candidates.

  • Yes – Gemma Weir (Belfast North); Lily Kerr (Belfast South); John Lowry (Belfast West); Hugh Francis Scullion (Mid Ulster);Damien Thomas Harte (Upper Bann). So 40% female.

  • Gaygael

    Dang it. I rated them 50%. Must have missed a candidate. Great piece thanks.
    And a dismal showing of gender diversity.

  • Gaygael

    I would presume that Baileys nominations are deliberately women.

  • Reader

    Is that a Green Party thing?

  • Zig70

    At the end of the day, politics is a very time intensive past time, similar to running your own business. For any working parent, it would only be possible with a support network and women wouldn’t be as predisposed to expecting or demanding that support. Or feel like they could rely on it if offered.

  • Granni Trixie

    Thanks for those stats Alan,very educational.

    Personally I never vote for someone because of their gender. Or because they are gay etc. Disappointing however that at this stage in the game an explaination as to the significance of gender in party candidates. To me it is symbolic of equality – recognition that women can do the job and have access to opportunities to run the country. (Doh…to you Pete). And before someone says it, diversity more broadly matters too though as women are half the population it’s a good start.

    What I will be looking for in next years elections are the stats regarding women in winnable seats (plus how many wives,daughters etc are standing …some parties have form in this respect).

  • Granni Trixie

    I think that it s the culture in political parties that has to change to alter gender bias in selection. Some political parties still refuse to identify the problem – they do ok sticking to the same old,same old ways. However seems it is up to the electorate to show them they have to change.

  • Framer

    How many are LGBT given the normal percentage of the population?

  • Gaygael

    I dont think so – ask the candidate.

  • Gaygael

    well it should be 5-10% but it looks like 1 as ‘out’ which is exceptionally poor.

  • Pete

    Amusing that Alliance Party members are claiming on Twitter that the “unionist pact” is somehow evidence of unionism’s poor attitude towards women because 2 of the incumbent MPs in pact areas are women. They conveniently didn’t mention that the other 2 incumbent MPs in pact areas are men.

  • Reader

    If there’s a natural level of female participation in competitive politics, it’s shown by the “independent” candidates in the final chart – not discriminated against by any party machine, but amounting to just 14% of the candidates.

  • tmitch57

    “I would hope people would rather vote on policies…”

    As if most of the parties have policies that matter that go beyond simple ethnic sectarianism.

  • Abucs

    More of the manufactured morality of misdirected equality.

  • Abucs

    The equality police are at it again.
    What is the quota for red heads?

  • Abucs

    I think that is a very good point but we are now all about redefining what is ‘natural’ because we are directed to think it is modern and progressive to do so.

    We get to call ourselves compassionate and enlightened and look down on others who have resisted the brain-washing.

  • 5-10% is a gross over estimation. I wish it was that high. Life wold be a lot easier. Funny thing is that in Northern Ireland, they are probably under represented, yet in GB, they have the opposite problem. The gays are active in large numbers at every level of politics and along with Jewish MP’s, their numbers are vastly disporportionate to their share of the population.

  • Billy The Mountain

    Male or female, gay or straight, this or that. Who cares? They are all, without exception, a bunch of arseholes. So please be my guest, get your knickers all twisted over female participation in politics or whatever your own particular bug-bear is but please also rapidly come to the understanding that politicans are wankers…and voting for them makes you a wanker by proxy.

  • Gaygael

    5-7% is the uk treasury estimate in advance of civil partnership legislation.
    10% is from the Classic Kinsey 1 in 10. That’s from 1948 and 1953.
    Please tell me why you are a better authority than either of these two sources and can so routinely dismiss them? I look forward to your response.

  • Gaygael

    Yes. Lgbt people should not be represented in politics. We should be hiding in our closets.

  • Gaygael

    Yes that’s right. I Fondly remember the days when red heads had to leave their jobs when they got married, when red heads couldnt claim rape if it was by their husband, when redheads got locked up for having sex with other redheads, or were forced to undergo electric shock therapy to erase their redhead attraction.
    Your understanding of structural inequality against women and minorities is obviously well advanced.
    I could give you a course honey.

  • Abucs

    Save it sweet cheeks, i have already taken the course. My concern is that others are warned about such academic fabrication, division and insanity ahead of time.

    But your post is instructive of your implanted thought process. It appears you are indirectly asserting that ‘redheads’ don’t get your ‘misdirected equality’ because they are not an accepted persecuted minority. The rush to fabricate persecuted minorities in our universities and to claim membership while casting the general society as the rich, traditional, patriarchal, white, heterosexual, Christian abuser is insane.

    I can understand back when such academic prostitution began that socialists thought they were on to a good thing in brainwashing students to fight the capitalist system by fabricating a narrow casting of history through such courses.

    Poor against rich, ‘modern’ against traditional, women against men, coloured against white, homosexual against heterosexual and non Christian against Christian. As a teacher I am well aware that students were encouraged to identify with the ‘persecuted minority’ and be against any existing authority so as to let the superior politics of a universal socialism triumph.

    Implanting a manufactured morality of misdirected equality into students’ thought process has been a key plank in this strategy.

    But socialism has rightly died in disgrace and the strategies it spawned will go the same way. For now the morons who accepted the validity of such ‘politically motivated’ courses still keep on ‘fighting the good fight’.

    Insane, divisive and ultimately destructive.

  • Abucs

    Politicians represent the people and people are free to be politicians. Hide in your closet if you want to, but don’t blame others for your insecurity.

  • Gaygael

    I have no insecurity around my sexual orientation thanks. I have not been in my closet since 1999 sweetie.

    Yes everyone starts with a level playing field when it comes to entry into politics……. there are no structural inequalities against minorities and women.
    keep repeating it, even you may start to believe this.

  • Gaygael

    And so the vested interest rage against the dying of the light. Rage away – we are stripping your privilege away piece by piece in the creation of a more equal society.

    So lets try again in an easy to understand framework for you.
    Lets keep to differences on the basis of sexual orientation.

    Do kids get bullied at school for being or perceived to be heterosexual? NO! Do they get bullied at school for being or perceived to be lesbian, gay or bisexual? Yes.

    Do people get assaulted or harassed because they are or perceived to be heterosexual? NO.
    Do people get assaulted or harassed because they are or perceived to be lesbian gay or bisexual? yes.

    This is the premise of inequality. Differential treatment on the basis of sexual orientation.

    Also as a teacher – you will be well aware that nowhere in the northern Ireland curriculum do we talk about LGBT rights and inequalities. As a teacher you will be aware that schools may apply the teaching of RSE (relationship and sexuality education) as they please. As a teacher, you will be aware of endemic bullying against LGBT kids within our schools. As a teacher you will be aware of teachers lack of training around these issues.
    or maybe you are willfully ignorant of these issues or just a terrible teacher?

  • Abucs

    I’m not sure what the point of repeating your manufactured morality is?

    I understand that you redefine the word discrimination. I understand that you apply it to selective situations and try to make a morality out of it. I understand that you take a slight of one group and then pretend it somehow is a widespread phenomena and that everybody who doesn’t think like you is motivated by hate and then therefore the state should be used to punish them. I understand intimately the brainwashing needed to think that way and the totalitarian nature that proceeds from it.

    I on the other hand reject your manufactured morality as madness. I know that the harassment’ you speak of is not rampant. People are harassed over body shape much more and we don’t need to redefine the state, laws and morality because of it. When someone is harassed I am not brainwashed to think of this as primarily as discrimination which should involve the state but simply as mean, ugly and something all good people should discourage.

    I do not want the state to, for example, have a view on ‘fatness’ that is forced on the populace. I do not want special quotas in elections for ‘fat people’. I am not mad enough to suggest that this position means that I don’t want fat people represented and somehow want them to be ‘in the closet’. I can differentiate between people who would wish to discourage fatness and people who hate fatties. I can distinguish between those who articulate the disadvantages of ‘fatness’ and those who hate fatties. They are not the same thing and the state would be unjust to assume they are. I do not want to shut down debate on whether ‘fatness’ is in the genes or a circumstance of environment or lifestyle or a combination of these. I don’t pretend that those that sincerely argue one way are somehow haters. I don’t want to invent ‘phobias’ to shout at sincere people and I don’t pretend these people irrationally ‘fear’ overweight people and the state must therefore punish them in the name of some misdirected equality. This is self-evidently madness.

    By the way Gaygael, an appeal to equality was made by the blood-thirsty French revolutionaries as they dragged people from their homes and cut off their heads to the cheers of the drunken mob. An appeal to equality was made when socialist dictator Pol Pot hacked off the heads of people who lived in Cambodian towns or simply wore eye-glasses. An appeal to equality was made when Russian socialists murdered Lithuanian property holders and banished millions to Siberia. This is but a small example of a very long and sad list of evil done in the name of equality. Even the socialist Adolf Hitler got in on the act with his version of equality based on the big bad Jewish financiers who were ruining the lives of poor Germans.

    What is needed to create such madness in the name of equality is to convince a segment of the population that a grievous injustice is being perpetuated by a privileged set of people who cannot be reformed and that the state must be allowed to regulate morality in the name of justice and misdirected equality. This is your own radicalisation to a tee.

    Now we are talking about small potatoes here. Your example was that some people ‘harass’ homosexual people. Really? Grow up and put your outdated socialist mindset behind you.

    Quite often in the last few centuries equality has been the power-hungry cry of the deranged made to envious fools. The runs are on the board so to speak. It has been anything but sane let alone good.

    As a good teacher, i am cognant of the fact that our education system should not be made to produce a large number of envious fools willing to accept manufactured moralities from the deranged.