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General election: Which party has the most LGBT candidates?

By Ross Semple

With the general election only days away, LGBT+ Britons will be making up their minds on which political party they feel best represents their views.

Aside from knowing where each party positions itself on LGBT+ issues, it is interesting to note which parties have the most LGBT+ candidates put forward to possibly become MPs. These people will be our representatives and it is important that they reflect the citizens that they represent.

Andrew Reynolds and Gabriele Magni from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have evaluated every candidate standing at the general election to give a clear picture of the diversity of each party in terms of sexuality and gender identity.

A total of 154 out of the 3304 candidates standing in Thursday’s election are LGBT+, which equates to roughly 4.5%. The vast majority of the LGBT+ candidates are white gay men – 23 are women, 4 are transgender, and only 3 are non-white.

Of the main political parties, the SNP has the highest proportion of LGBT+ candidates by far, with 10 of their prospective MPs (17% of the party’s total candidates) identifying as LGBT+.

Labour and the Tories both have the exact same number of LGBT+ candidates, with 42 apiece. This represents 7% of the total amount standing. Liberal Democrats and Greens fare slightly worse, with 5% and 4% respectively.

Unsurprisingly, UKIP fare the worst of all the political parties. Only 6 of their candidates are LGBT+.

Overall, the UK is one of the world leaders when it comes to LGBT+ representation in the legislature. Leading up to the election, there were 39 LGBT+ MPs in the House of Commons. This figure represents 6% of total MPs. Again, the SNP led the way with the highest proportion of LGBT+ MPs in the aftermath of the 2015 election.

The Scottish Parliament fares slightly better than the UK parliament in terms of LGBT+ representation, with 10 (7.7%) LGBT+ Members of the Scottish Parliament out of a total of 129. In the Welsh Assembly, 3 members out of 60 identify as LGBT+.

More stories:
Election: ‘The Liberal Democrats’ record on LGBT rights speaks for itself – and so does Tim Farron’s’ (Opinion)
Election: Gay photographer Tommy Ga-Ken Wan on why he’s voting SNP (Opinion)
Election: Why, as a gay man, I’ll be voting Labour on Thursday (Opinion)
Election: Gay former British soldier James Wharton on why he’s voting Conservative (Opinion)