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David Cutts, Sarah Childs and Edward Fieldhouse, "'This Is What Happens When You Don't Listen': All-Women Shortlists at the 2005 General Election," Party Politics, 14 (September, 2008), 575-595.

First paragraph:
A record 128 women were elected to the House of Commons at the 2005 general election; a rise of 10 from 2001. Women now constitute an unprecedented 20 percent of all MPs. This headline figure hides the distribution of women between the parties, however: 98 are Labour, 17 are Conservative and 10 are Liberal Democrats, while two main Unionist parties and Sinn Fein have one each. Fully 27.5 percent of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) are women, but women constitute only 16.1 percent of Liberal Democrat MPs and a mere 8.6 percent of Conservative MPs.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. All-Women Shortlist seats 2005 (England and Wales)
Table 2. All-Women Shortlist seats lost in 2005 (England and Wales)
Table 3. Labour performance in incumbent seats in 2005 (England and Wales only)
Table 4. Socio-economic variables: principal components analysis varimax-rotated component loadings
Table 5. Impact of candidate sex on Labour support in 2005 (Labour incumbent seats only)
Table 6. Impact of new candidates on Labour support in 2005 (Labour incumbent seats only)
Table 7. An alternative model: the impact of sex, AWS and incumbent candidates on Labour support in 2005
Table 8. Comparing new candidate effect and new candidate sex effect models on Labour support in 2005

First paragraph of Conclusion:
Labour's high profile debacle in Blaenau Gwent exposed its policy of AWS to intense media scrutiny. The loss of a further six seats where the party put up AWS candidates gave the impression that Labour had suffered a widespread AWS backlash. Here we show, however, that Blaenau Gwent was an exceptional case. In reality, there was no significant AWS effect in 2005. The perceived AWS effect had nothing to do with candidate sex or being an AWS candidate and everything to do with being a new candidate. We also cannot differentiate between an AWS effect and a new candidate sex effect, although this did not matter given that neither had a significant impact on Labour performance in 2005.

Last updated August 2008