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Election set for men-only contests in parts of Birmingham

Voters in five West Midlands constituencies will not be given the chance to elect a female candidate.

Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire MP Andrew Mitchell
MP Andrew Mitchell

Despite attempts to involve more women in frontline politics, voters in five West Midlands constituencies will not be given the chance to elect a female candidate.

The Labour-held seats of Hodge Hill, Dudley North, Warley and West Bromwich West are so far men-only affairs, as is the contest for Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell’s Sutton Coldfield seat according to website YourNextMP.

They are five of 126 constituencies across the UK where there is, with two weeks to go until nominations close, no female candidate.

Political parties have made attempts to broaden the numbers of women MPs but across the West Midlands on 25.8 per cent of candidates are female.

Nationally the number is 26.4 per cent.

Only in Walsall South, Wolverhampton North East and Birmingham Ladywood are there at least an equal number of female candidates to males contesting the seats.

All three defending MPs, Valerie Vaz, Emma Reynolds and Shabana Mahmood are Labour women.

Walsall South has three female candidates and one male whereas Wolverhampton North East currently has three female candidates compared to two male candidates and Birmingham Ladywood has four women and two men on the ballot.

Across the whole of the UK there were 952 female and 2,666 male candidates known to be standing for election and listed on YourNextMP as of Monday.

UKIP had the worst gender balance out of the headline political parties with only 72 of their 599 candidates being female – this works out as 12 per cent of their potential parliamentarians.

Northern Ireland’s Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) had the most equal gender balance with four of their 10 known candidates female.

However, the Green Party (including the Scottish Green Party) had by far the best gender balance out of the parties fielding at least 100 candidates at the next election.

As many as 38 per cent of the Green Party’s candidates are female compared to 34.2 per cent of Labour candidates , 26.9 per cent of Lib Dem candidates and 26.2 per cent of Conservative candidates.

The Scottish National Party also has a comparatively strong female showing with 35.6 per cent of its 59 candidates being women.

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