Record number of female MPs win seats in 2017 general election

Lucy Purdy

A record number of female MPs will take up seats in the House of Commons after more than 200 women were elected in Thursday’s general election

208 women were elected to House of Commons this week, beating the previous high of 196 in the last parliament.

The previous record for the number of women elected in a single general election was 191 in 2015. The Labour Party slightly increased its proportion of women MPs to 45 per cent from 44 per cent before the election, as it increased its overall number of seats.

The Conservative Party saw no increase, with women’s representation stuck at 21 per cent, while the Liberal Democrats now have four women MPs, a third of their parliamentary party.

While this is progress, the fact remains that just 32 per cent of our MPs are women, up from 30 per cent before the election

The re-election of home secretary Amber Rudd took the figure past the 2015 total as she defended her Hastings and Rye seat in a narrow victory, winning by just 346 votes after two recounts.

The re-election of the Greens party’s Caroline Lucas in Brighton Pavilion took the tally over 200. The 208th was Emma Dent Coad, who took the final seat to be declared, Kensington, in a surprise win for Labour.

Sam Smethers, the chief executive of the Fawcett Society, said: “The number of women MPs in parliament has broken the 200 barrier for the first time. But while this is progress, the fact remains that just 32 per cent of our MPs are women, up from 30 per cent before the election. We are moving forward at a snail’s pace and this is embarrassingly slow.

“The time has come for a legally enforceable target to achieve the radical and sustainable change we need.”

Image: Flickr user Maurice


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