A record number of female MPs have been elected overnight in the 2019 general election, with a third of the lawmakers in the House of Commons now women.
Although some well-known women in parliament – including Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson – lost their seats, an historic number stood. Two-hundred-and-twenty female MPs will join the chamber when parliament reconvenes next week. And we now have newly-elected names to know including Amy Callaghan of the SNP (above, who unseated Swinson in East Dunbartonshire), and Lib Dem Sarah Olney (who took minister for international development Zac Goldsmith’s seat in Richmond Park). Wales also has its first three female Conservative MPs: Fay Jones, Virginia Crosbie and Sarah Atherton.
Boris Johnson’s Conservative party won by a landslide overnight with 43.5% of the vote and a working majority of at least 76. The Labour party, which won 32.4% of the overall vote, lost seats in traditional strongholds such as the north-east and Wales, while 11.5% of voters opted for the Liberal Democrats.
In gender balance terms, the proportion of female MPs has grown to 34%. But, this still falls far short of 50-50 gender equity across the chambers.
Heavy Labour losses prompted party leader Jeremy Corbyn to rule himself out of running in the next election. The resulting leadership race could see a re-elected female MP become the first female leader of the party. Both Jess Phillips and shadow education secretary Angela Rayner have been tipped for the top job once he steps down.
Elsewhere, Labour’s Stella Creasy was re-elected in her London constituency of Walthamstow last night. She celebrated her win whilst cradling her two-week-old daughter Hettie in a sling. Leader of the Green Party Caroline Lucas also held onto her Brighton Pavilion seat, but said the election “wasn’t even necessary” in her victory speech.
There were concerns that women would be underrepresented in the House of Commons. Six female MPs stepped down in just four days in October, saying they had experienced intimidation, death threats and abuse.
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