LDV readers say: no to all-women short-lists and quotas, yes to better training and support

by Stephen Tall on November 8, 2009

Three weeks ago, LDV posed the following question – How should the Lib Dems increase their number of female MPs? – in the wake of Nick Clegg’s frank admission to the Speaker’s Conference that the Lib Dem Parliamentary Party is “woefully unrepresentative of modern Britain”.

Here’s what you told us:

  • 8% (23 votes) – All women shortlists and/or quotas in ALL seats
  • 7% (22) – All women shortlists and/or quotas in winnable and held seats
  • 44% (133) – No short-lists and/or quotas, but invest in getting more, better-trained and supported candidates
  • 14% (42) – No short-lists and/or quotas: focus instead on electoral reform – until we have that, all our efforts will be limited
  • 28% (84) – No short-lists and/or quotas: all candidates should stand or fall on their own merits regardless of gender
  • Total Votes: 304. Poll ran: 21st – 28th October 2009

There seems to be little support among LDV readers (who may or may not be representative of party members and supporters) for the idea of short-lists or quotas to increase the number of women Lib Dem MPs: just 15% believed they should be used.

A plurality of readers opted for the middle-way option: no all-women short-lists or quotas, but for the party to invest more in training and support. A signifcant minority (28%), though, stood by the position that “all candidates should stand or fall on their own merits regardless of gender”.