An analysis by ConservativeHome of those adopted as Tory candidates for the next General Election says that there would likely be fifty to sixty women Tory MPs if the Conservative Party formed a majority after the next General Election.
There are currently just 17 Conservative female MPs.
Although the Tory leadership has failed to deliver their ideal aim of half of Tory candidates being women there has been significant progress with women doing relatively better in the most winnable seats.
Although, for example, only 31% of all adopted candidates are women, 46% of the candidates (11) adopted for the 24 seats with notional Tory majorities are women.
The ratio deteriorates thereafter. 35% of candidates selected for the top twenty target seats are women but just 28% for the top 75 target seats.
Women most likely to be Tory MPs after the next General Election include Karen Bradley (Staffordshire Moorlands), Harriett Baldwin (West Worcestershire), Andrea Leadsom (South Northamptonshire) and Penny Mordaunt (Portsmouth North).
On current selections, half a dozen candidates from ethnic minorities are likely to enter Parliament as Tories - joining Adam Afriyie and Shailesh Vara.
Priti Patel (Witham) and Rehman Chishti (Gillingham and Rainham) are the two "BME" candidates in the group of notionally Conservative seats. Three BMEs have so far been selected for the top 75 seats: Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones (Chippenham), Zahid Iqbal (Bradford West) and Paul Uppal (Wolverhampton SW). Six BMEs so far selected for top 150 seats: including Alok Sharma (Reading West), Mark Clarke (Tooting) and Shaun Bailey (Hammersmith). The party also has hopes that Tony Lit may join the green benches as the unlikely new Tory MP for Ealing Southall after next Thursday.
ConservativeHome Comment: "Although David Cameron's A-list alienated many Conservative activists it has undoubtedly contributed to a significant increase in the number of women who would sit as MPs on the benches of a Tory government. Many come from conventional Conservative backgrounds, however. Most of the women selected appear to come from the law or the City. Few have public or voluntary sector backgrounds. The party has also yet to address the issues of financial exclusion. The £41,000 average cost of becoming a Tory MP at the last General Election may deter excellent candidates with modest backgrounds from becoming an MP."
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Women candidates in notionally Conservative seats
- There are 26 notionally Conservative seats that needed candidates, 24 of which have selected.
- 11 out of 24 (46%) are women, 4 of whom are in the top 10.
- The average Conservative majority for those that have male candidates is 4496, and in the 11 seats where there is a female candidate the average majority is 2419.
Women candidates in top target seats
- There are 3 women in the top 10 target seats (30%), 7 women in the top 20 targets (35%), and 8 women in the top 30 target seats (27%). Out of the top 75 target seats that have so far selected candidates 15 out of 57 (28%) are women, and women account for 11 out of the 35 (24%) selected candidates in seats between 75 and 150 in the target list.
- The average majority-to-overcome of the top-placed 10 women is 1186, compared with 577 for men
- The average majority-to-overcome of the top-placed 20 women is 2255, compared with 1073 for men
- The average majority-to-overcome of the top-placed 30 women is 3585, compared with 1500 for men
- Priti Patel is one of two "BME" candidates for notionally Conservative seats - the other being Rehman Chishti
- Three BMEs so far selected for top 75 seats, Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, Zahid Iqbal, and Paul Uppal
- Six BMEs so far selected for top 150 seats, including Alok Sharma, Mark Clarke and Shaun Bailey
- Inclusive of Priti Patel's notionally conservative seat, the average majority for the 7 BME candidates, is 2123. The average majority, excluding Priti Patel, of target seats with BME candidates, is 3651.
- Deborah Thomas has also been selected, but Twickenham isn't in the top 150
A big thank you to Rory Malone for helping us with all the number-crunching needed for this analysis . We couldn't have done it without his compilation of election data from UK Polling Report and candidate data from ConservativeHome.