One-third of Party Candidates are Women

Media Release

Friday, April 12, 2019

Nominations for the 2015 provincial election are now closed and the PEI Coalition for Women in Government has confirmed that both the number and percentage of women candidates has increased over 2015 totals.

Nominations for the 2015 provincial election are now closed and the PEI Coalition for Women in Government has confirmed that both the number and percentage of women candidates has increased over 2015 totals. In the 2015 provincial election, 31 women ran, representing 29.5% of candidates. This year, 35 women candidates are running for the four political parties, an increase of four candidates, and women represent a full third (33.3%) of candidates, an increase of almost four percentage points. 

“We are pleased to see for the first time in a provincial election that one-third of candidates for political parties are women,” says Dawn Wilson, Executive Director of the PEI Coalition for Women in Government.

The representation of women among candidates varies across the four parties. The NDP has confirmed 11 women candidates of 24 (46%), which is the highest percentage in a party this election. The Green Party has confirmed 9 women candidates of 27 (33%). The Liberal Party has nominated 8 women candidates of 27 (30%), an all-time high for the party. Women make up 7 candidates (26%) of the total 27 candidates within the Progressive Conservative Party. All four political party leaders are men. Several men but no women are running as independent candidates in this election.

As has been the case in other elections across the country, women in this election are running in tougher districts. While 46% of men are running in districts where their party either won or came close to winning in 2015, the same is true of far fewer women (31%). In addition, no women are running in districts where their party held a commanding lead in 2015 (winning by ten points or more), while 11 men are running in similar party strongholds.

Wilson notes, “It’s a positive sign to see more women running this election, and in past elections, the number of women elected tracked closely with the number of women nominated, so we’re very hopeful.” She adds, “We also know that where women run matters. We know some women are running in tough districts this election. We encourage all Islanders to consider supporting women candidates who share their values. Other ways to support women candidates over the next week include volunteering on a candidate’s team, displaying a lawn sign, or making a financial donation.”

Wilson concludes, "We thank all women for putting their names on the ballot, and the party members that supported their nominations.” The Coalition will continue to look for ways to support parties to work towards the goal of gender parity among candidates in the next provincial election.