How many women MPs could there be after the election?

By Ian Jones, PA

The number of women MPs elected to the House of Commons has gone up at each of the past four general elections.

Is the same likely to happen this year?

At the 2017 election, a total of 208 women were elected as MPs – the highest number in history.

If the result of that election is duplicated exactly at this year’s election, the number of women MPs would be 236.

This is because there are a handful of constituencies at this election where a woman has been selected to defend a seat that was won in 2017 by a man.

The men who won in 2017 aren’t contesting those seats in 2019 for reasons such as retirement, deselection, or because they are standing elsewhere.

With 236 as a notional baseline for this year’s election, it’s then possible to see how this number would change under different scenarios.

(PA graphic)

For example, were the Conservatives to gain 25 seats from Labour – the seats that would change hands on the smallest swing – the number of women MPs would be 230.

If Labour gained 25 seats from the Tories, the total rises to 246.

In both cases there would still be a record number of women MPs elected to the new parliament, however.

Using the same method of calculation, were the Tories to gain 50 Labour seats, the number of women MPs would come to 223.

And if Labour gained 50 Tory seats, the number would be 258.

Again, both of these scenarios would result in more women MPs than the current record of 208.

(PA graphic)

All of the scenarios assume that no other seats have changed hands – something that is unlikely to happen in reality.

But these illustrations suggest that the trend for an increasing number of women MPs seems more likely than not to continue at the 2019 election.

(Note: in all calculations, the seat of North Down – won in 2017 by the independent candidate Sylvia Hermon – has been assigned in 2019 to the Ulster Unionists. This is because Ms Hermon, who is not contesting the seat this time, originally held the seat as an Ulster Unionist before becoming an independent)