How the major UK parties are trying to court women’s votes

PSA Women and Politics Specialist Group

Rainbow Murray, Queen Mary University of London

Women comprise 52% of the British electorate, so it’s fair to say our votes will decide this election. This is a fact that none of the parties has ignored. All three main parties (Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat) have written a number of policies into their manifestos that are targeted directly at women. Alongside these policies are more gender-neutral measures that will nonetheless particularly affect women (whether positively or negatively).

Why do all parties feel a particular need to woo women voters? It comes down to more than their simple proportion of the electorate. Labour has enjoyed an advantage among women voters in recent elections, based on its stronger track record for feminist policies, as well as its strengths in areas that women value, including the welfare state, the public sector, the NHS and education. But Labour have also occasionally misfired…

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