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Monday, April 24, 2006

Wot no women?

Today's Western Mail reports that the Welsh Conservatives are having their usual problems with women. The candidates in all seven of the party's target Welsh seats next year are men, and men also dominate the PR list seats selected last week.

Senior party figures in Cardiff and Westminster were hoping a publicity drive would help attract more women and ethnic minority candidates for next year's Assembly elections.

However, key target seats like Cardiff North, Clwyd West and the Vale of Glamorgan will be fought by male candidates, as will the safe seat of Monmouth, where sitting AM David Davies is standing down to concentrate on his role as the area's MP.

And last week saw four of the five regional top-up lists pick their candidates, with all but one picking men in the most winnable first two slots. Only Laura Anne Jones, in South Wales East, has made it to a number two slot on the list, and she is already an AM.

Although there are women in the number three slots in North Wales and South Wales Central, without a huge swing to the Tories at the ballot box they are unlikely to be returned to Cardiff Bay.

The Tory leadership is finding it difficult to influence the local associations, who pick the constituency candidates.

So much for David Cameron's brave new world.
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