Women Elected to Electorate Seats

Ok, since someone asked I’ve done a quick count. Hope these numbers are right.

Here’s the data. The actual number of electorate seats increased over the peroid, but didn’t significantly change the overall trend – flat after the second election.

1996 1999 2002 2005 2008
Total Electorate Seats 65 67 69 69 70
Labour 5 12 16 10 7
National 4 3 3 5 7
Other 0 1 0 1 2
Total 9 16 19 16 16
Percentage 14% 24% 28% 23% 23%

Here’s the graph showing the trend during the last FPP elections, then the trend into MMP (i.e. the black line in the above graph as a % of seats).

It’s not as compressed as below, so the upswing in the 80’s isn’t so prunounced. But what is prounounced is that the first MMP election in 1996 might have elected record numbers of women, but it set back electorate seats years, and the overall trend hasn’t been that flash since. In fact, only 2002 has been significantly higher than the last FPP election.

Again, I make the point: is this really a system that has delivered massive gains for women?


  1. Again, I make the point: is this really a system that has delivered massive gains for women?

    Isn’t the answer “yes”, because MMP is a system with list MPs, and the reason why there are a larger number of women MPs in the House now than in the past because there are list MPs?

    Without list MPs, where would representation of women be?

    1. Under FPP we had large gains. Once MMP moved in, those gains clearly tailed off.

      Now you are correct, the gains that have been made are in list MPs. But I find it concerning that the gains are only being made there, when before MMP that is the exact area where they were being made (even though that was the only place they could be made).

      I just don’t see a case to be made for saying “phew, thank goodness we have MMP, or women wouldn’t be elected to parliament.”

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