MPs by gender Dec 2019.jpg

A great deal has been made of the increase in both the number of women MPs and the number of openly gay MPs in last Thursday’s election.

The number of MPs who are openly gay, lesbian, bisexual etc. now stands at 45 or 7%,  compared with 2% – 7% of the general population*.

In August 2019 is was reported that 494 women had sat in the House of Commons since 1919**. As far as I can see, 59 new female MPs were elected last Thursday, bringing the current total to 220 and the cumulative total to 553.

So, 51% of the population is female and a third of current MPs are female – but if you sat every woman who had ever been an MP, starting with Lady Astor, in the chamber of the House of Commons that would still leave 91 empty seats.

*The ONS reported in 2017 that the proportion of the population identifying at lesbian, gay or bisexual was 2%, whilst the proportion identifying as heterosexual was 93%  – hence 2%-7%. (Sexual Orientation: UK 2017, ONS)

** Women Members of Parliament: Background Paper (House of Commons Library, August 2019)