Harriet Harman MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Gloria De Piero MP, Shadow Minister for women and equalities and Lucy Powell MP, Vice Chair of the Election campaign have today (Wednesday) launched Labour’s biggest ever women’s campaign to reach out to women across the country ahead of May’s General Election. Statistics published last month showed that 9.1 million women in the UK did not vote in 2010.
This is the first time the Labour Party has had such a dedicated women’s campaign tour which is already scheduled to visit over 70 constituencies before the short campaign with a launch in every region, in Scotland and Wales.
Women from across Labour’s team - Women from Labour’s Shadow Cabinet, Parliamentary Labour Party, MEPs, local government and the Trade Unions will be touring the country to discuss with women across the country what they want from Government and highlighting Labour’s commitments to women including helping them balance work with caring commitments, promoting flexible working, tackling domestic violence and increasing pay transparency. They will be talking to women voters at school gates, in workplaces, shopping centres, universities, in town centres and on the doorstep.
A Labour majority would produce a PLP which is 43 per cent women and our target is to get to 50/50. Over half of Labour’s 2015 target seats (53 per cent) have women PPCs and 65 per cent of Labour’s retiring seats have women PPCs.
But new figures released today by the Labour Party show that only 25 per cent of Conservative candidates in their target seats are women. For the Lib Dems the figure in their target seats is 31 per cent women.
Labour believes a balanced team of men and women is not just good in principle but it brings a balanced political agenda which works better. That is why Labour is committed to working towards a 50:50 men women PLP.
Woman to Woman campaign
Labour will show that it is the only Party which will deliver for women in terms of its people, policies and politics by running a campaign which:
- Has a strong offer for women in its manifesto.
- Puts women’s concerns at the heart of the campaign in terms of spokespeople, news stories and events including a tour across the regions and nations.
- Reminds women voters about Labour’s strong record on issues like childcare, family care, equal pay and tackling domestic violence.
- Highlights the Tory and Lib Dem actions which have made life harder for women such as tax changes, a crisis in A&E and the continued pay gap.
- Harnesses the energy, strength and breadth of Labour’s women, including the 1000 activists who attended this year’s annual Women’s Conference and the hundreds of women across the country who participated in Gloria’s highly successful “What Women Want” tour and Harriet Harman’s Older Women’s Commission.
- Draws on the talent of Labour women members, trade unionists, MPs, frontbenchers, Shadow Cabinet members, Peers, Councillors, MSPs, AMs and MEPs.
- And works with women’s organisations and the women’s movement in this country.
Harriet Harman, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party said:
"We believe that this election will be a watershed for women in this country. Women had been making progress in their lives with the backing of the last Labour Government. But now, with this Tory-led government that progress is stalling and the clock is being turned back on equality.
“With ‘Woman to Woman’ we will be discussing with women what they want from government. The campaign will bring politics to the school gate and the shopping centre as well as colleges, offices and factories.
“There's been a lot of talk about UKIP or the SNP holding the balance of power. The reality is that the 9.1 million women who did not vote in the last General Election will hold the balance of power and decide who walks into No 10."
Gloria De Piero, Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities said:
“Woman to Woman is all about getting out and speaking to women across the country about the issues they care about and how a Labour Government can and will deliver for them – from saving our NHS to more support for working families with the cost of childcare, an £8 minimum wage and action on equal pay.
“I want to enter Government with the voices of the women we meet across the country still ringing in our ears. That way, we will make sure we are a Government that delivers for women and their families.”
Lucy Powell, Vice Chair of Labour’s General Election campaign said:
“This is a once in a generation choice about who our country works for. We have set a goal of holding four million conversations in just four months about how we change our country and our Woman to Woman tour will put women in the driving seat.
“At the election women will have a choice between a failing plan and a better plan for working families. David Cameron’s plan is failing women because his priority is to help a few at the top. The Tories just don’t understand that Britain only succeeds when working families succeed. Labour has a better plan for a better future for women and their families. On improving living standards, on making sure our young people have a decent future and on safeguarding and reforming our NHS so it has time to care Labour will put the voice of women front and centre as part of this campaign.”
Notes to Editors
Woman to Woman: Labour’s Women’s Campaign – Analysis of selections so far
- New figures compiled by Labour show no other party comes close to selecting as many women candidates.
- Just 25 per cent of Tory candidates in target seats and 30 per cent of candidates in retiring seats are women.
- For comparison, 53 per cent of Labour’s candidates in target seats are women and 65 per cent in retiring seats.
- There are 48 women MPs in the Conservative Party (16%) and just 7 Lib Dem women MPs (13%).
- Labour have more women MPs than all the other Parties put together, with women making up 1/3rd of Labour MPs (87 women MPs).
Tory Selections Figures
- 24% of PPCs/MPs standing at the next election will be women. (139 out of 585 that have selected).
- 30% of PPCs are women. (95 out of 318).
- 16% of sitting Tory MPs are women (48 out of 303)
- 25% of MPs/PPCs are women. (20 out of 80).
- 30% of PPCs are women. (13 out of 44).
Battleground Seats – either 40/40 or 106
- 23% of MPs/PPCs are women. (34 out of 147 selected so far).
- 29% of PPCs are women. (19 out of 65).
Tory 2015 Aim
- 19% of MPs in 2015 would be women if the Tories retained all their seats, and won their 40 offensive targets seats. (66 out of 340 selected so far).
- Retirement Seats (34 MPs stood down, 2 deselected)
- 30% of candidates are women. (10 out of 33 - 3 to select).
Liberal Democrat Candidates
- Of the 387 Liberal Democrat candidates selected so far, only 94 are female (less than 25 percent).
- Of the candidates standing in the 56 seats currently held by the Liberal Democrats, only 10 are female (18 per cent).
- Of the 45 candidates selected so far in the Liberal Democrats’ top 50 target seats, only 14 are female (31 per cent).
- So in their 106 most winnable seats, the Liberal Democrats have selected only 24 female candidates (23 per cent).
- This follows the announcement last month of a Liberal Democrat General Election Cabinet which contains only five women out of a total of 27 members.
UKIP Selection Figures
- 11% of their candidates are women. (53 out of 472, this includes 2 male MPs)
- In their 12 target seats, 2 of the candidates are women.
- Adding the two MPs they hold, only 2 out of 14 candidates in the seats they are seeking to win at the next election are women.
Green Party Selection Figures
- 39% of candidates are Female. (167 out of 434 so far selected are female).
Scottish National Party Selection Figures
- 37% of candidates are women. (21 out of 57 so far selected are female)
Figures correct as of 9 February 2015.