United Kingdom (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) has a Bicameral parliament with the use of voluntary party quotas. 220 of 650 (34%) seats in the House of Commons are held by women.
At a glance
Structure of Parliament: Bicameral
Are there legislated quotas...
- For the Single/Lower House? No
- For the Upper House? No
- For the Sub-National Level? No
Are there voluntary quotas...
- Adopted by political parties? Yes
Is there additional information?...
Last updated: May 19, 2020
House of Lords
|Quota Type||No legislated>|
|Election details||IPU Parline|
|Quota type: No legislated||Electoral law|
|Legal sanctions for non-compliance||No data available|
|Rank order/placement rules||No data available|
Voluntary Political Party Quotas*
|Party||Official name||Details, Quota provisions|
|Liberal Democrats||Article 2.5: "Whenever this Constitution provides for the election by party members to a Federal Committee, not less than 40% or, if 40% is not a whole number, the whole number nearest to but not exceeding 40% of those elected shall selfidentify as men or non-binary people, and self-identify as women or non-binary people respectively" (The Federal Constitution of the Liberal Democrats, 2018).|
|Labour Party||The Labour Party's commitment is that 50% of all winnable parliamentary seats will select from All Women Shortlists.|
* Only political parties represented in parliament are included. When a country has legislated quotas in place, only political parties that have voluntary quotas that exceed the percentage/number of the national quota legislation are presented in this table.
National Assembly for Wales: In the 2003 election 30 of 60 seats went to women (50 percent). In the 2007 election, women were elected to 29 of 60 seats (48.3 percent) in parliament.
With regard to the establishment of the Scottish Parliament, women's groups proposed measures to promote women's representation. The Women's Committee of the Scottish Trade Union Congress proposed a 50/50 gender balance in the new Scottish parliament. This system is known as "parallelism", i.e. that each constituency should return two members, one of whom would be elected from a female list of candidates and one from a male list was preferred. All electors would vote for both. Other proposals were put forward, seeking to combine a parity principle with a proportional system.
The Federal Constitution of the Liberal Democrats. Last Amended March 2018. Accessed 2 October 2018.
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Law?, London: The Constitution Unit.
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Short, Clare. 1996. ‘Women and the Labour Party.’ Parliamentary Affairs. 49, no. 1. pp. 17-25.
- Eagle, Maria and Joni Lovenduski. 1998. ‘High Time of High Tide for Labour Women?’ Fabian Society Pamphlet. London: Fabian Society.
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- Mowlan, Marjorie. 1993. ‘Redressing the Imbalance: Labour Party Proposals to Ensure Greater Access for Women to Parliamentary Seats at Westminster.’ Parliamentarian 74, no. 4. pp. 196-197.
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Affairs, 37, 3: 301–9.
- United Kingdom Parliament website, http://www.parliament.uk/