More LGBT candidates standing in the 2017 General Election than ever before
The House of Commons is expected to break its own record for the world’s highest proportion of openly gay and bisexual MPs in tomorrow’s elections.
The June 8 General Election will see hundreds of LGBT candidates on the ballot paper, standing for every major party and in every region and nation of the UK.
According to the parties own data, some 222 LGBT candidates will be running for election.
It is not known how many independent and fringe party candidates are LGBT, meaning the figure could well be even higher.
The figure is the largest number of out LGBT candidates to ever stand in a UK general election.
Two years ago 130 candidates from the major parties identified as LGBT, meaning there has been a marked increase.
Both the Conservative Party and Labour have identified 42 out LGBT candidates, the highest figure for both parties.
The Liberal Democrats have 30 out candidates, including former MP Simon Hughes who is running to win back his south London constituency.
Green Party internal figures report 86 out candidates, though 11 have been publicly identified.
The SNP, who only run candidates in Scotland, is running 10 LGBT candidates under their banner.
UKIP have six candidates, while Plaid Cymru, the SDLP and the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland each have two candidates.
For the first time, a transgender candidate is on the cusp of being elected.
Helen Belcher, a trans woman, is standing as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Chippenham, a seat the party held until two years ago.
Based on UK-wide poll averages as of June 1st, according to Professor Andrew Reynolds, the Tories could expect to elect two new LGBT MPs and Labour would lose two.
Labour would still gain a new LGBT MP, in Liverpool Walton, while the Liberal Democrats would have no new LGBT MPs according to national polls.
The SNP is expected to have the largest percentage of out MPs in Westminster.
17% of the party’s candidates are LGBT, with most expected to be elected.
SNP Equalities spokesperson, and candidate for Lanark and Hamilton East, Angela Crawley said: “I’m proud that the SNP has selected a record number of openly LGBTI candidates at this election – the highest proportion of any major party and the highest number in Scotland’s history.
“Parliaments should be representative of the full diversity of the people they seek to represent, and we know that the presence of openly LGBTI MSPs at Holyrood and MPs at Westminster has actively helped secure the huge progress we have seen on LGBTI equality in recent years.”
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