The worst councils in Wales to be a woman

6th July 2012
6 Jul 2012


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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.



Download Women and Local Government Report

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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
  3. For more on the Counting Women IN campaign: