Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Star Woman Sought for the East

Since 1918 Labour have had 18 MPs in Scotland's capital but it all that time only one woman, Lynda Clark, for eight years 1997-2005 has been representative for them in Edinburgh Pentlands. She of course then chose not to stand in the Edinburgh South West seat to allow Alistair Darling to find a seat after Edinburgh Central was wiped off the Westminster map.

However, with Gavin Strang stepping down in Edinburgh East at the next general election Labour are considering making some amends for that by considering having a women only shortlist for his replacement. A similar tactic is being used next door to West Lothian for the Airdrie and Shotts seat being vacated by John Reid.

Having recently watched the docu-drama of Mrs Thatcher's early days in politics it does seem sad that there is still something of a glass ceiling in getting through the selection process so often for female candidates. Having seen and worked closely with some excellent female candidates in the past I know that there is no disadvantage in selecting the right candidate irrespective of gender but sadly too many of those involved in some politics still will always place a man before a woman in their voting preference at selection level. Once any candidate has crossed that threshold it is largely the popularity of their party that makes up the bulk of their vote, their own popularity or lack of, making up the topping; which can create a effect either to hold, or take a surprise gain in a tight contest.

1 comment:

Leaves on the line said...

Actually the reason for Labour going for a women-only shortlist in Edinburgh East is actually for far more base and embarrassing reasons.

Bad Old Labour has reared its head in the shape of a discredited (if not disgraced) former councillor, who along with friends and family has been busily trying to gerrymander the CLP. This is the real reason why Strang has been dithering over stepping down and the real reason why an all-women shortlist may be imposed - so as to avoid the chances of said councillor getting his grubby hands on the nomination.

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