Winning the female vote is crucial to winning the forthcoming general election, so much so it’s even been billed the “Mumsnet election”.
High-profile website, Mumsnet recently celebrated its 10th birthday and, with an estimated one million users, political parties have been tripping over themselves to court this group.. The main political leaders have participated in webchats from which we have gleaned such gems as Brown’s favourite biscuit: “anything with a bit of chocolate on it”.
But don’t be fooled by these Stepford-sounding mums who call their partners DH (darling husband) or DD (darling daughter), those who frequent the forums are a tough crowd. Predominantly middle class and quick to express their displeasure – they’ve also quizzed the leaders on everything from Europe to ID cards.
That women find themselves centre stage in this particular election is no accident; it’s what analysts refer to as the “gender gap”. Historically, women have been more likely to vote Conservative but in 1997 the gap noticeably narrowed and Blair swept to power. As we head for the next election the gap has almost closed, meaning that there’s everything to play for.
A politically-independent organisation, the Fawcett Society is the leading campaign group for sexual equality in pay, pensions and politics. Ceri Goddard, Chief Executive is unequivocal, “Whoever the majority of women vote for will win the next election; all the parties know that,” she told Sideways.