AV – good, bad or neutral for women’s representation in the Commons?

Next month the electorate will be asked to vote on whether to shift from first past the post to the alternative vote.

Does AV promise greater numbers of women in Parliament? Personally I’m feeling a little vague on the subject. Luckily Progressive Women are holding a debate (in London) on this issue.

The line up should make this an interesting one:

Yes To Fairer Votes

Oona King is the former Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow and former Chair of the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform. Last year, she ran to be Labour’s first female mayoral candidate for the GLA and was made a peer in the House of Lords. She is now Head of Diversity at Channel 4.

Katie Ghose is the Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society and Chair of the Yes to Fairer Votes campaign.


Charlotte Vere was the Conservative candidate for Brighton Pavilion in 2010. She is now the Finance Director of the No2AV campaign.

Jane Kennedy was the Labour MP for Liverpool, Wavertree, until 2010. She is now the National Organiser for Labour in the No2AV campaign.

Photo of vote-tallying by AdamKR, shared on Flickr under a Creative Commons license