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UK set to break record for highest number of LGBTQ MPs after General Election

June 5, 2017

Ahead of the UK’s general election this week, politics professor Andrew Reynolds of UNC Chapel Hill looks at LGBTQ representation in the new House of Commons.

At dissolution the UK House of Commons had by far the highest number of out LGBTQ MPs in the world at 39 (6%).

32 were elected in May 2015 and seven came out between 2015 and 2017. On Thursday all 39 incumbents are standing (17 Conservative, 14 Labour and 8 Scottish Nationalist) and only seven are vulnerable to losing their seats (four Labour, two Tory, one SNP).

A graph shows the growing number of out MPs

With just a few days to go it is highly likely that the number of out LGBTQ MPs will increase further on June 8.

Reinforcing the dramatic gains LGBTQ Britons have made in public life over the last decade.

If EVERY competitive candidate and every incumbent won, there would be 24 newly elected LGBTQ MPs and 37 re-elected MPs with two sitting gay and bisexual MPs defeated by gay challengers.

That would mean 61 LGBTQ MPs in total (9% of the House), though that is highly unlikely.

What is likely is that the gains made by LGBTQ candidates in June 2017 will outweigh any losses. All main parties have competitive LGBTQ challengers. The Tories have twelve potential new winners, Labour seven, the Liberal Democrats three and the Scottish Nationalists two.

In total 147 (4.5%) of the 3,000+ candidates on June 8 publicly self-identify as LGBTQ – numbers almost identical to 2015 – but two years on many of the LGBTQ candidates are better positioned for victory.
A map showing where LGBTQ politicians are in the UK
Both the Conservatives and Labour have identified 42 out LGBTQ candidates running under their banner.

The Liberal Democrats 30, the Greens 11, the SNP 10, UKIP 6, Plaid Cymru, the SDLP and the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland 2 each.
A chart shows the Tories and Labour tied for number of LGBTQ candidates, while the SNP have the most

The UK wide poll averages as of June 1st 2017 show a 2% swing from Labour to the Conservatives.

If this were the result on Thursday a uniform swing of 2% would give the Tories two new LGBTQ MPs and Labour would lose two. Labour would still gain a new LGBTQ MP in Liverpool Walton. The Liberal Democrats would have no new LGBTQ MPs. The SNP would return a new MP in Edinburgh West.

Overall, the SNP have the potential to add two new LGBTQ MPs and lose one MP. The Liberal Democrats could gain up to three LGBTQ MPs.

Distribution of candidates

However, at every election there are regional variations.

SCOTLAND: The latest polls in Scotland show a substantial but declining SNP vote and a smaller but increasing Tory vote. This would make John Nicolson (SNP) in Dunbartonshire East vulnerable to the Liberal Democrats. Plus, it would heighten the challenge for Toni Giugliano (SNP) to hold Edinburgh West and for Jim Eadie (SNP) to take Edinburgh South from Labour. However, a Tory bounce in Scotland does help Secretary of State David Mundell to retain his seat.

LONDON: The latest YouGov London poll shows Labour doing better in the capital. This would be enough to protect Wes Streeting (Lab-Ilford North) but make Simon Hughes’ (LD-Bermondsey and Old Southwark) chances of winning back his seat less likely.

WALES. It looks likely than the four existing LGBTQ MPs in Wales will be returned and no new ones will be elected.

GAY BOOST: A detailed analysis of the 2015 election showed that LGBTQ candidates for Labour outpolled their straight colleagues by approximately 2%, all else being equal. LGB Conservatives also did better than their straight colleagues in winnable constituencies. This ‘gay boost’ might be enough to protect the seats of Wes Streeting and Peter Kyle (Lab-Hove).

Among LGBTQ candidates there are 24 women and 121 men and 2 non-binary. This is almost identical to the gender balance in 2015. But any seat gains will be made by white gay men – only one woman has a long shot chance of winning. Thus, the current 30-9 male versus female caucus imbalance will likely be magnified after June 8.

There were four transgender candidates in 2015. this time there are seven candidates who identify as transgender and two as non-binary – though, as in 2015, none has a hope of winning.

In 2015 there were only 2 BME LGBTQ candidates – this time there is only one. Not in a winnable seat.

Possible LGBTQ gainsPossible LGBTQ losses

Full Data:

CONSERVATIVE (42)

Stuart ANDREW – Pudsey
Peter ANTHONY – Blackpool South
James BELLIS – Rotherham
James BIRD – Walsall South
Crispin BLUNT – Reigate
Nick BOLES – Grantham & Stamford
Conor BURNS – Bournemouth West
Adam CARNEY – Makerfield
Chris CHAPMAN – Ilford South
Chris CLARKSON- Heywood & Middleton
Tom DOWSE – Stalybridge and Hyde
Alan DUNCAN – Rutland & Melton
Nigel EVANS – Ribble Valley
Mark FLETCHER – Stockton North
Mike FREER – Finchley & Golders Green
Will GALLAGHER – Chester
Chris GALLEY – Wansbeck
Nick GIBB – Bognor Regis & Littlehampton
Justine GREENING – Putney
Nick HERBERT – Arundel & South Down
Paul HOLMES – Southampton Test
Ben HOWLETT – Bath
Margot JAMES – Stourbridge
Daniel KAWCZYNSKI – Shrewsbury & Atcham
Callum LAIDLAW – Falkirk
Mark MENZIES – Fylde
Owen MEREDITH – Newcastle under Lyme
Damien MOORE – Southport
Taylor MUIR – Rutherglen & Hamilton West
David MUNDELL – Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale
Keiran MULLAN – Wolverhampton South East
Eric OLLERENSHAW – Lancaster and Fleetwood
Lee ROWLEY – Derbyshire North East
Thomas SMITH – Blaydon
Iain STEWART – Milton Keynes South
Ross THOMSON – Aberdeen South
Kyle THORNTON – Glasgow South
Mark VIVIS – Slough
Emma WARMAN – Brighton Pavilion
Chris WILFORD – Poplar and Limehouse
William WRAGG – Hazel Grove

LABOUR (42)

Olivia BAILEY – Reading West
Vince BARRY – Torridge & Devon West
Clive BETTS – Sheffield South East
Ben BRADSHAW – Exeter
Nick BROWN – Newcastle upon Tyne East
Chris BRYANT – Rhondda
Stefano BORELLA – Bexleyheath and Crayford
Dan CARDEN – Liverpool Walton
Daniel CHAPMAN – Lewes
Sophie COOK – East Worthing and Shoreham
Alan COWAN – Dundee West
Ashley DALTON – Rochford and Southend East
Rohit DASGUPTA – East Hampshire
James DAWSON – Amber Valley
Alan De’Ath – Chelsea and Fulhan
Stephen DOUGHTY – Cardiff South & Penarth
Angela EAGLE – Wallasey
Barrie FAIRBAIRN – Grantham & Stamford
Nia GRIFFITH – Llanelli
Martin JEVON – Taunton Deane
Gerald JONES – Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney
Sean KELLY-WALSH – Charnwood
Gerard KILLEN – Rutherglen & Hamilton West
Peter KYLE – Hove
Gordon MARSDEN – Blackpool South
Sandy MARTIN – Ipswich
Martin McCLUSKEY – Inverclyde
Kevin McKEEVER – Northampton South
Matthew NORMAN – Dwyfor Meirionnydd
Roger PAGE – North Herefordshire
Heather PETO – Rutland & Melton
Luke POLLARD – Plymouth, Sutton & Devonport
Stephen POWERS – Hexham
Steve REED – Croydon North
Lloyd RUSSELL-MOYLE – Brighton Kemptown
Alex SKIRVIN – Newbury
Cat SMITH – Lancaster & Fleetwood
Fiona SMITH – Hertsmere
Doug SWANNEY – Hertfordshire North East
Wes STREETING – Ilford North
Stephen TWIGG – Liverpool West Derby
Andrea WATTS – Wellingborough

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT (30)

Keith ANGUS – Islington North
Mark ARGENT – Hertford & Stortford
Helen BELCHER – Chippenham
Alan BULLION – Sevenoaks & Swanley
Paul CHILDS – Wallasey
Lee DARGUE – Birmingham Ladywood
Callum DELHOY – Selby & Ainsty
David EVANS – Gordon
Richard FLOWERS – Macclesfield
Jonathan FRYER – Dagenham & Rainham
Richard GADSDEN – Blackley & Broughton
Stephen GILBERT – St Austell & Newquay
Stewart GOLTON – Elmet & Rothwell
Andy GRAHAM – Broxbourne
Charley HASTED – Swansea East
Alex HARDING – Westminster North
Andrew HOLLYER – Derbyshire Dales
Simon HUGHES – Bermondsey & Old Southwark
Adrian HYYRYLAINEN-TRETT – Ipswich
Steven LAMBERT – Aylesbury
David LEE – Surrey East
Ben MATHIS – Wolverhampton South East
Alisdair McGREGOR – Leeds West
Kevin McNAMARA – Thurrock
Zoe O’CONNELL – Maldon
Ross PEPPER – Sleaford & North Hykeham
Imogen SHEPHERD-DuBEY – Milton Keynes North
David STEVENS – Inverclyde
Gerald VERNON-JACKSON – Portsmouth South
Stephen WILLIAMS – Bristol West

SNP (10)

Hannah BARDELL – Livingston
Mhairi BLACK – Paisley & Renfrewshire South
Joanna CHERRY – Edinburgh South West
Angela CRAWLEY – Lanark & Hamilton East
Martin DOCHERTY-HUGHES – West Dunbartonshire
Jim EADIE – Edinburgh South
Toni GIUGLIANO – Edinburgh West
Stewart McDONALD – Glasgow South
Stuart McDONALD – Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch
John NICOLSON – East Dunbartonshire

GREENS (11)

Aimee CHALLENOR – Coventry South
Andrew CREAK – Caerphilly
Patrick HARVIE – Glasgow North
Dominic HORSMAN – Durham North West
Rebecca JOHNSON – Hackney South and Shoreditch
Lee-Anne LAWRANCE – Runnymede & Weybridge
Malachai O’HARA – Belfast North
Will PATTERSON – Wigan
Victoria PERCIVAL – Boston & Skegness
Störm POORUN – Lewisham East
Anne POWER – Preston

PLAID CYMRU (2)

Harri ROBERTS – Gower
Fflur ELIN – Pontypridd

SDLP (2)

Séamas de FAOITE – Belfast East
Martin McAULEY – Belfast North

ALLIANCE (NI) (2)

Andrew MUIR – Down North
Chris McCAW – Londonderry East

UKIP (6)

Chris BARNES – Salford and Eccles
David COBURN – Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath
Richard HILTON – Mitcham & Morden
Nathan RYDING – Wigan
Gary SHORES – Hull West & Hessle
Peter WHITTLE – South Basildon and East Thurrock

NB = Non Binary
Incumbent

Note: Data based on party identification and individual candidate publicity. Despite numerous requests the Green Party demurred from providing a list of out LGBTQ candidates. In an email of May 26th the Green Party ‘Membership Team’ claimed they had 71 LGBTQ identifying candidates but they were ‘anonymous’ and were not available to be listed. The UNC LGBTQ R&R Research Initiative very deliberately focuses on out, self-identifying candidates and elected officials. Indeed, we are in communication with LGBTQ identifying candidates in all parties who are not out, and thus do not appear in this report, upon their request.

We appreciate the data gathering assistance of:
LGBT+ Conservatives
Liberal Democrats: Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett
LGBTQ Labour: James Asser
LGBT in UKIP: Flo Lewis
LGBTQI Greens: Aimee Chanellor
Equality Network: Tim Hopkins
Stonewall Cymru: Mabli Jones
Tony Scupham-Bilton
Personal contact with candidates

The LGBT Representation and Rights Research Initiative at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the first academic program focused exclusively on the link between the representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and the legal and political rights afforded to those groups.

Andrew Reynolds is Professor of Political Science at UNC Chapel Hill. He tweets at @AndyReynoldsUNC.

More: election, Gay, general election, General Election 2017, LGBT, MPs, parliament, Politics, UK

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