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We recently published our report on the 2012 local elections in England, the first of a series of three reports looking at the issues which impact on the numbers of women in local government. 2012 Local Elections.
Overall the trend over the last six years has been towards increasing women’s representation in local government, however that increase remains painfully slow, and although 2012 has proved a better year than most, it has still not resulted in a significant jump in the numbers of women overall.
31% of candidates this year were women, and 35% of councillors elected. In previous years these two percentages have been more or less the same, and the disparity this year is almost entirely caused by the cumulative effect of Labour’s positive action policy which, combined with good results, saw many women candidates in marginal seats elected.
The parties and women in the 2012 local elections
Conservative: % of candidates who were female – 28%
% of candidates elected who are female – 27%
Labour: % of candidates who were female – 36%
% of candidates elected who are female – 40%
Lib Dems: % of candidates who were female – 34%
% of candidates elected who are female – 34%
The Centre for Women and Democracy will be publishing the second local Election report in the series in June, which will deal with some of the issues, such as retention in more detail. The third report in the series will be published later in 2012, and will examine the recruitment, retirement and retention of women in local government.