Women clear their desks at the Assembly

If, as expected, Labour lose seats in Mays' Assembly elections, one consequence will be an upheaval in the gender balance of the Senedd.

The Welsh Assembly has, until now, prided itself on being one of the few elected national bodies in the world with an equal number of women to men. In fact, there are currently more females than males in the chamber. But the predictable Labour defeats will change all that.

With the exception of Llanelli, it is men who are in the best position to step up in each of the key marginal constituencies. Indeed, on a truly disastrous night for the government, the number of women in the Assembly could fall to 26.

As it stands, the Tories are by far the least balanced party, while Labour have the highest percentage of women. Tory gains will only exacerbate the situation. And their crop of candidates for 2007 only perpetuates the trend: just 13 of the 55 candidates already announced are female.

Regardless of the new Cameron spin, in the Assembly at least, the Conservatives are still predominantly a party of men in suits.

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posted by Blamerbell @ 9:53 am,


At 3:21 pm, Blogger Arsembly said...


At 3:32 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ciaran, I am shocked!!

At 5:02 pm, Blogger bethan said...

Let's start the negative comments about Bethan Jenkins again, shall we.....!

At 6:03 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

I am honoured to add this slur to the growing library of insults about me.

You'll have noticed, also, that in the course of his report on Dragon's Eye, Phil Parry illustrated a point in a way not too dissimilar from the post I wrote HERE. I've blogged on this subject before and I'll do so again.

As for the specific matter of Bethan Jenkins - I agree very much with what Peter Black and Glyn Davies have already written and have nothing much to add.

There's nothing strange about this. I try wherever possible to generate my own agenda - that for me is what blogging is about. I occasionally dip into the Western Mail for inspiration, but you'll find that I have NEVER written a blog post in response to an item on Dragon's Eye.

I'd call that consistent, not hypocritical.

At 6:13 pm, Anonymous Daran said...

It's of course not the number of women, but the positioning of women in winnable seats or on winnable places on lists that is the key to promoting an equality agenda. The danger for the Welsh Conservatives isn't the total number of their female candidates but the fact that their best chances of victory (Carmarthen West excepted) are, as you illustrate, all men.
Further, their only two female AMs are in the precarious "fourth place" on the list. It would obviously be disappointing for the Welsh Conservatives - who do indeed have a range of capable female candidates - to find themselves with only members of one gender post May. That would certainly take the shine off their stated aim of becoming the official opposition, if they happened to have achieved this goal at the same time.

At 6:35 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

"It would obviously be disappointing for the Welsh Conservatives to find themselves with only members of one gender post May."

Quite. Glyn and Brynle would find their door-opening skills redundant.

At 9:14 pm, Blogger ianjamesjohnson said...

Personally, I would love to have an Assembly that represents Wales across all sorts of sub-sections - age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity.

But when it comes to down to it - I just want the 60 best people for the job.


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