The Unfinished Business All Women Shortlists and the UK Parliament: Contagion, Transformation and Extension
35 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2015
Date Written: 2015
It is the day after the UK general election in May 2015. No one single party has ‘won’ outright. The alternative governing teams look very different. Labour sees the party leader Ed Miliband sit at the head of a parity cabinet and government. Yvette Cooper and Harriet Harman will be his foremost ‘wing women’; at least 40 percent of his backbenchers will likely be female; as will more than two thirds of his newly elected MPs. A Conservative government would, for sure, see Cameron appoint Theresa May, the current Home Secretary, to one of the four big Offices of State – she’s too experienced and too much of a leadership challenger otherwise. He will also pepper his team with a good few women too, belatedly meeting his 2015 30 percent target. His summer 2014 government reshuffle showed that he could find women to sit in his Cabinet, if only to see off commentariat ‘backlash’. But when you look beyond the ‘doughnut’ of women Cameron places on his Frontbench, the Conservative backbenches will likely remain women ‘lite’. At least the worst case scenario – of fewer Conservative women MPs in the UK Parliament in 2015 – looks, 100 days out from the election, to have been avoided.
Keywords: UK Parliament; Quotas; Gender; AWS; All women shortists
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