elections

The worst councils in Wales to be a woman

6th July 2012
6 Jul 2012
Tags: 
wales
council
elections
women
representation

Share

Press Release File: 
Contact Tel: 
020 7202 8601

The worst councils in Wales to be a woman

Wales' progress on getting more women elected is stalling, according to a new report released by the Electoral Reform Society today.

Women now constitute 26.3% of local councillors in Wales, lagging behind England at 31%. After this year’s local elections the figures show a gain of a paltry 1.5% from 2008 - a much slower rate of progress than in the last two elections where the ratio improved by around 3% each time.

There is however significant variation between councils’ performance. Six councils in Wales have achieved above the 30% ‘bare minimum’ mark while six have failed to reach 20%, and often by a significant margin. 

Best performing councils in terms of gender balance:

  • Swansea 38.9%
  • Cardiff 37.3%
  • Rhondda Cynon Taf 37.3%
  • Torfaen 34.1%
  • Monmouthshire 30.2%
  • Flintshire 30%


Worst performing councils in terms of gender balance:

  • Anglesey 5%
  • Merthyr Tydfil 12.1%
  • Ceredigion 14.3%
  • Pembrokeshire 15%
  • Wrexham 15.4%
  • Blaenau Gwent 16.7%

Stephen Brooks, Director of the Electoral Reform Society Wales, said:

This poor performance in the 2012 local elections shows that all parties need to pull their socks up and demonstrate some local leadership to make our councils properly representative.

 

Women in Wales deserve an equal say in how their taxes are spent and local parties’ performance in more competitive areas shows that where they do make the effort they can make a real difference.

 

We’re supporting the Counting Women IN campaign to demand 50/50 gender representation across Welsh politics. We can’t expect women to wait until their retirement for an equal say and where there is a political will, there is a way.

 

ENDS

Download Women and Local Government Report

For more information contact the media office on mediaoffice@electoral-reform.org.uk or call 020 7202 8601.

Notes to Editors

  1. The Electoral Reform Society is an independent campaigning organisation working to champion the rights of voters and improve UK democracy.
  2. Find out more about our work at http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk
  3. For more on the Counting Women IN campaign: http://www.countingwomenin.org

England let down by elections as Scotland leads the way

9th May 2012
9 May 2012
Tags: 
stv
single transferable vote
fptp
first past the post
choice
voting
elections

Share

Contact Tel: 
07940 523842
- A tale of 6 cities and 2 very different elections

Initial analysis of last Thursday’s elections is showing a widening gulf between local democracy in England and Scotland. 
 
In its initial analysis of election results, focusing on six English and Scottish cities, the Electoral Reform Society has shown English voters are drawing the ‘short straw’ in their elections, with less choice and less chance of affecting the result.
 
Scotland abandoned First Past the Post for local government elections in 2007 and adopted the Single Transferrable Vote form of Proportional Representation. This has brought competitive elections into all the local ‘One Party States’ that once blighted Scottish politics.
 
Willie Sullivan, Director of the Electoral Reform Society Scotland said:
 
In last Thursday’s election voters across Britain went to the polls. But for voters in Scotland and England this was a tale of two Elections - and England drew the short straw.

"Scottish voters got more choice at the polls and more chance of deciding who speaks in their name in their town halls. And while most Scots got a councillor they backed for their trouble, most of the English just threw their votes away.

"Glasgow has transformed itself from rotten borough to a multi-party democracy. Scotland now has a local democracy we can all be proud of, and getting rid of First Past the Post made that possible. With the Single Transferable Vote people have got a real say on who runs their local authorities. Voters in England should settle for nothing less.”  

 
A tale of 6 Cities
 
City
Edinburgh
Glasgow
Dundee
Portsmouth
B.ham
Manchester
Voter Choice

 

 

 

 

 

 
Candidates/Ward

7.47

10.67

7.75

3.86

5.23

4.91
Parties/Ward

6.41

8.38

5.63

3.79

5.20

4.75
Representation

 

 

 

 

 

 
Voters getting who they voted for (%)

72.66

75.93

79.78

46.17

54.98

65.22
Women’s representation (%)

25.86

30.38

24.14

14.30

42.50

34.4

Voting system

STV

STV

STV

FPTP

FPTP

FPTP
Estimated National Turnout

Scotland 42%

England 32%
 

Local Democracy Scotland can be proud of

1st May 2012
1 May 2012
Tags: 
stv
single transferable vote
fptp
first past the post
choice
voting
elections
uncontested seat

Share

Contact Tel: 
07940 523842

Local Democracy Scotland can be proud of   As the UK heads to the polls, the Electoral Reform Society Scotland has welcomed the fact that there is not a single uncontested seat in Scottish local authorities.   

Wales alone boasts over 95 uncontested seats – with 140, 000 voters denied a say.  

In the last set of Scottish Local elections run under First Past the Post in 2003 Scotland had 61 uncontested seats. Following the shift to the Single Transferable Vote in 2007 that figure hit zero.  

Willie Sullivan, Director of Electoral Reform Society Scotland said: 

In hundreds of wards across the UK voters will not get the chance to have their say this Thursday. These elections were a done deal without a single vote being cast.  But once again Scotland has left the plague of uncontested seats behind.   

“We know that the First Past the Post system used in England and Wales and here in Scotland for Westminster elections gives us seats so safe that it’s not even worth anyone else standing.  If you’re lucky you might get a paper candidate faxed in from central office.  

“Now Scotland has a local democracy we can all be proud of. With the Single Transferable Vote people will get a real say on who runs their local authorities this week. But while we live in a fairly elected multi-party democracy we should remember our fellow voters in England and Wales, and encourage them to settle for nothing less.”  

For comment or analysis during the 2012 Scottish local election contact Willie Sullivan on 07940 523842 willie.sullivan@electoral-reform.org.uk

British voters abandon British democracy

25th April 2012
25 Apr 2012
Tags: 
political engagement
voter behaviour
choice
voting
elections
party funding
politicians

Share

Contact Tel: 
020 7202 8601

British voters abandon British democracy

The 2012 Audit of Political Engagement shows downward trend in voter engagament.

In a week where politicians have been refuting the idea that the public should be allowed to elect our representatives in the House of Lords (despite the fact that a recent You Gov poll found 69% of the public support the reform) a new study showing a serious decline in people’s engagement with politics is perhaps unsurprising.

The 2012 Audit of Political Engagement found that less than half (48%) of people would be certain to vote in the event of an immediate general election, down a massive ten points from 2011. To make matters worse 16% of the public now say they are ‘absolutely certain not to vote’.

The study reports that ‘participants felt they had no means to give voice to their views, individually and, more importantly, collectively’ and that ‘the public simply do not think that if they, or people like themselves, were to get involved in politics they could have any impact on the way the country is run’.

The findings suggest that not only are people less inclined to vote but that they no longer believe they can change things by getting involved.

The report authors conclude ‘A year on, this indifference now seems to have hardened into something more serious: the trends in interest and knowledge are downward, dramatically so in some instances, suggesting a public that is turning away from national politics.’

This is a damning indictment of British politics and a stark warning to our politicians that things cannot continue as they are.

Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society commented:

‘British democracy is at a crisis point. Voters are increasingly fed up with watching politicians looking out for their own interests while ignoring ours.

‘The most recent in a long line of party funding scandals made it clear once again that it is big business and rich donors - not voters - who’s opinions count and while watching politicians try and wiggle out of allowing us to elect our representatives in the House of Lords you could be forgiven for thinking that British voters are an encumbrance rather than a central part of British democracy.

‘Many politicians have no problem with the status quo but voters clearly feel differently. We simply cannot afford to shrug our shoulders and watch while the very legitimacy of British democracy is under threat. Democracy is hard work and it is never job done. The writing’s on the wall: It’s time for change.‘

ENDS

For more information or to arrange an interview contact the media office on 020 7202 8601

Download 2012 Audit of Political Engagement report

Notes to Editors

1. The Electoral Reform Society is an independent campaigning organisation working to champion the rights of voters and improve UK democracy.
2. To find out more visit http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk