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Women Members of Parliament: Background Paper

Published Monday, June 10, 2019

This briefing paper provides a list of all the women who have ever been elected to the House of Commons.

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This briefing paper provides a list of all the women who have ever been elected to the House of Commons, since the passage of the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918, which allowed women to stand as parliamentary candidates from 1918.

Of the 650 seats in the House of Commons, 210 are held by women MPs. This is the highest number of women MPs ever.

At the 2017 General Election, 208 women were elected – a record number. Following the election of Órfhlaith Begley on 3 May 2018, the total number of women MPs increased to 209. However, when Heidi Alexander resigned on 9 May 2018, the number dropped back to 208. It returned to 209 with the election of Janet Daby in Lewisham East (Heidi Alexander’s former seat), on 14 June 2018.

When Ruth Jones was elected in the Newport West by-election, on 4 April 2019, the number increased to 210.

It fell back to 209 when Fiona Onasanya ceased to be an MP. Following a recall petition, under the Recall of MPs Act 2015, her seat was vacated on 1 May 2019.

It returned to 210 when Lisa Forbes was elected in the by-election in Peterborough (Fiona Onasanya’s former seat), on 6 June 2019

In total, since 1918, there have been 493 women MPs.

This list provides the names of the women MPs in order of first election, the party they were first elected for, the constituency or constituencies they represented and their dates as MPs.


Commons Briefing papers SN06652

Author: Richard Kelly

Topics: Election results : UK, House of Commons, Members of Parliament

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