Women's Political Representation and the SNP: Gendered Paradoxes and Puzzles

Fiona Mackay and Meryl Kenny

in The Modern SNP

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780748639908
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672080 | DOI:
Women's Political Representation and the SNP: Gendered Paradoxes and Puzzles

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This chapter presents a preliminary account of women in the Scottish National Party (SNP) — an under-researched group in an under-researched party. It concentrates on candidate trends and electoral trends post-1999 as a foundation for future research. It also reports the Scottish Parliament elections 1999–2007, focusing on trends of candidate selection and recruitment in the SNP over time. The post-devolution performance of the SNP provides a good test for what happens to the issue of women's representation in changing political circumstances. The SNP did enforce proactive unofficial measures encouraging women to stand for election. It is noted that the SNP as a party continues to pose a number of gender paradoxes. Comparative evidence indicates that party women — particularly feminists — are critical actors in reform processes.

Keywords: women; Scottish National Party; candidate selection; electoral trends; Scottish Parliament elections; gender paradoxes; feminists; SNP

Chapter.  4855 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: UK Politics

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