…….Instead of Conservative.
The General Election is fast approaching; and recent polls suggest that we should prepare ourselves for another coalition government. This leads most of us to wonder… which parties will be sharing the job of running the country? Can we anticipate another coalition between the Tories and the LibDems, or is it Labour’s turn to take centre-stage?
Certainly, it seems that Labour are in with a good chance. According to a recent article in The Economist, more women than ever are turning their backs on the Tories and planning to vote Red instead. The motivation? A number of things seem to be swaying our collective vote, but one of the main influencing issues is finances.
It’s interesting that the Tories are now often viewed as an ‘anti-female’ party, especially given David Cameron’s efforts to assert himself as a ‘family-friendly’ leader. Indeed, rewind a hundred years or so and things were very different. The Conservatives were seen as the popular choice for females, and up to Margaret Thatcher’s time as PM, more women voted for the Tories than men!
However, according to a Mumsnet poll taken from 2013, times have radically changed. The results suggest that nearly half of all female voters think the Tories are ‘out of touch’. 42% of females involved indicated that they would be voting Labour. In contrast, only 29% expressed support for David Cameron.
Certainly, the unfortunate fact that the Conservative Party is dominated by men doesn’t help matters. Only three of the party’s Cabinet Ministers are female… and thirteen are male!
In addition to the perception that the Conservatives are a male-dominated political party, many of Cameron’s policies have not proved popular with female voters. Prior to becoming PM, Cameron talked at length about equal pay. However, it was actually the Liberal Democrats who fought to push through plans for gender pay transparency, in 2015.
Prior to this, businesses across the UK were under no obligation to publically declare how much they were paying their female and male employees; effectively allowing unfair gender pay difference to pass unnoticed.
Labour have actually been attempting to get the bill passed for years, but plans were overturned when the coalition government originally formed.
Cuts Hitting Women Hardest
In addition to the gender pay gap issue, several of the Conservative Party’s austerity cuts have seemed to hit women harder than men. According to a report in the Mirror, over £11billion of the £16 billion cuts in spending has targeted areas that affect women more than men, notably the public sectors.
After all, there are more women than men working across the public sectors. More females are likely to be reliant on public services, and due to the fact that more women choose to take career breaks after having children, they’re more likely to face insecurity in their careers as a result of the cuts.
As a result, many women across the country feel unfairly hit by these economic decisions. Whilst most agree that cuts are necessary to address the problem of national debt, the areas that these cuts have targeted seem questionable.
Labour’s Pink Bus?
Of course, Labour received considerable derision and ridicule recently for their Woman to Woman campaign, which used a pink bus to travel across the country. Several people indicated that they found the move to be calculating and patronising; and some even commented that they felt it was childish and embarrassing.
However, others have pointed out that at least Labour are attempting to connect on a meaningful level with women across the country. Ed Miliband has also publically declared his intentions to eradicate the pay gap and to offer 25 hours of free childcare a week to parents of 3 to 4 year old children.
How Will You Vote?
How do you feel about the current coalition government? Do you think they’ve targeted women unfairly in their cuts, and do you think that the Labour government can deliver all that they’ve promised, if Miliband becomes PM?
Let us know your thoughts by leaving your comments below. we’d love to hear from you!