Exclusive: Labour’s 46 target marginals that will be all-women shortlists

labour aws.png

Among the many announcements at Labour’s landmark NEC (National Executive Committee) meeting yesterday was the decision that the candidate in 46 of Labour’s key ‘marginal’ target seats at the next General Election will be selected from an all-women shortlist (AWS). This measure is expected to achieve the party’s goal of at least fifty percent of its MPs being female.

There has, naturally, been a lot of interest in which 46 will be AWS – and the SKWAWKBOX can now reveal which seats they will be. The seats are listed in order of ‘marginality’:

Chipping Barnet
Norwich N
Bolton West
Northampton N
Middlesbrough S/Cleveland E
Milton Keynes S
Milton Keynes N
Morecambe and Lunesdale
Harrow east
Morley & Outwood
Swindon S
Chingford & Woodford Green
Reading W
Derbyshire NE
Rossendale & Darwen
Truro & Falmouth
Walsall N
Filton & Bradley Stoke
Worthing E & Shoreham
Plymouth Moor View
Shrewsbury & Atcham
Rochford & Southend E
S Ribble
Welwyn Hatfield
York Outer
Kings wood
Bournemouth E

Unlike recent selections in which shortlists were decided by an NEC-appointed, usually 3-person panel, local members will control the process in the 76 most marginal seats – a welcome improvement to party democracy.

As the process is expected to begin not long after Labour’s conference, which starts on Sunday, it’s therefore vital that good, local, female candidates come forward without delay for each of the above seats – candidates who are thoroughly behind the party’s direction and on the side of the membership – and similarly-inclined candidates of either gender for the remaining key target seats.

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    1. Hey Florence,

      Tidy arts bud! About time Red Loving Hearts took over the Welsh marginal seats, then went marching on a Red Army into Downing Street to paint the UK Red as well. The future is bright Ladies: it is time to ‘get it on’, flash some Classy Red Dragon flesh and ‘own the runway’ on May’s Common Ladies Cat-walk!

      Pob lwc! Siwrne saff!

      Namaste 🙂


  1. I am thinking All Women Shortlists are not the best way forward. The best person should get the job. I believe that positive discrimination has outlived it’s usefulness. We are operating a poor way of picking candidates for our seats at all levels. This is the type of PC that puts people off voting for us. The AWS should now be confined to the dustbins of history.

    1. That is s tired argument. When women are consistently passed over for male candidates, it is obvious that the best candidate isn’t picked for the job. Unless you consider the sole criteria for suitability is external genitalia.

      Looking at some of the (male) MPs we have, do you not ever feel that its a poor show if they are “the best person for the job”? When was the last time a woman MP was the centre of some sleaze / scandal?

      1. Florence 21/09/2017 at 9:53 am

        When was the last time a woman MP was the centre of some sleaze / scandal?


        Thatcher? *spits*

        Currie? May? Rudd? Greening? Truss? Dreadsome? Abbott? Harman? (ill)eagle? Jowell?

        Liverpool Wavertree had an all-women shortlist and ended up with berger…”I would like to have won in an open contest. People have already said I didn’t deserve to win.”

        Damn right…

        ‘Best person for the job’ is subjective – like what defines sexism, racism, ‘abuse’ etc.

  2. It’s funny how no-one talks of all-men shortlists as not picking the right candidate for the job.

      1. All male shortlists were until recently the norm, and so too are all
        male selection panels in some constituencies.

      2. Well said, Florence. All male shortlists don’t need to be mandated, they just ‘are’ and have been for so long people are conditioned to think it’s normal.

        The lost talent resulting in such a practice must be incalculable over time. The whole of society ought to be the pool from which selection takes place. If the pendulum needs to swing to get us back in balance, then let it swing. All women shortlists are are only a transitional arrangement.

  3. I’m not a fan of AWSL either. Excluding good candidates in the name of political correctness is not the best way forward. This policy only applies to marginals, so the women selected are also likely to be the first casualties of a swing away from Labour. Are the safe seats going to be AWSL too? If not then it’s an empty, token gesture.

    1. It’s not about political correctness in who is chosen as candidate; it’s about having women better represented in Parlament. It’s absurd that our legislative body has so few women.

  4. In reply to Florence. I accept that there was a time when positive discrimination was needed to keep women on an equal path although it was a long tiring battle. This inequality goes back to beginning of time. I do agree that looking at some of our male MPs and Councillors we are lacking. Many of the carreeer politicians re the best educated idiots I have ever seen. On the other hand Those who have come from manual working backgrounds are grounded and realistic in the sense of fairness. Sadly these people need better education, The trades union colleges of the 70s were a great help but we need political education in the schools. We should not be discussing this issue in this day and age. You will never change peoples thinking by force but only by education and demonstration. Labours sense of fairness and equality should be where the bar is set. I can point to cases in my constituency where a good male councillor had to rescind his seat to a woman who sadly is not as good at the job as he was. This is the main bit I do struggle with. I would not support a male only shortlist either. Imposition from the top is always resented. Equality should be just that, How many women would really like to think they got the job because they were a woman. How insulting is that? To my mind this drags the party and the cause backwards.

  5. I am not a fan of gender politics it should be the best person for the job. How can this be a good idea just hope we don’t end up with a lot of also rans. I find this patronising and taking political correctness to the extreme. Can’t see voters in the wider community being too impressed with this decision.

  6. Why not Northampton South? We are going to end up with Kevin ‘Portland Communications McKeever again. He has only failed to be elected in the area four times already…..

  7. It’s all about who you know or are related to anyway, and no amount of Corbynism’s gonna change that.

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