Political Parties

Once you have decided you want to stand as a candidate you need to understand the process, both the legal aspects and what the individual parties do. Here we list the basics as well as how to connect to each of the parties.

First start by reading the official Parliamentary Guide to standing in an election. "How can I stand?" The next thing is to find your local part and make contact about attending a local meeting. 

If you are unsure which party you should be in, try this quiz. (More centred on UK parties than the devolved nations.) Use the links below to contact the party direct. 


The Conservatives

Contact: candidateenquiries@conservatives.com or 0207 984 8127. In Scotland: membership@scottishconservatives.com or 0131 348 5000.

Women's groups: Women 2 Win, Conservative Women


Liberal Democrats

Contact: candidates@libdems.org.uk. In Scotland: 0131 337 2314

Women's groups: Liberal Democrat Women 



Contact: post@plaidcymru.org or 029 2047 2272. 

Women's groups: Plaid Women


Scottish National Party

Contact: info@snp.org, 0800 633 5432

Women's groups: SNP Women



Contact: mail@ukip.org, 0333 800 6800

Women's groups: ??


Womens equality party

Contact: info@womensequality.org.uk or 020 7407 9230

No specific women's group because the whole party is aimed at gender equality



There are many fabulous organisations in the UK working towards gender equality in politics, either throguh lobbying, support or by providing information. Here are a selection. 


Women 50:50 Scotland

Women 50:50 is the Scottish camapign for gender balance in Scottish Politics. The campaign was officially launched by Kezia Dugdale (Lothians MSP for Scottish Labour) and Alison Johnstone (Lothians MSP for the Scottish Green Party) in September 2014 and has been founded by life long feminist campaigners. 

Key supporters of Women 5050 include - The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, Jackie Baillie MSP (Scottish Labour MSP for Dumbarton), Marco Biagi (SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central), Jean Urquhart (Independent MSP for Highland and Islands) and Alison McInnes (Liberal Democrat MSP for North East Scotland).

Women for Election (Ireland)

Women for Election is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organisation whose vision is of an Ireland with balanced participation of women and men in political life.  Our mission is to inspire and equip women to succeed in politics. 


50:50 Parliament is a campaign to achieve inclusive gender-balanced parliament through lobbying, advocacy and a range of events. Since 2013, over 52,000 people have signed the 50:50 petition, and the group launched the successful #AskHerToStand campaign in November 2016.  Find out more about the campaign here - https://5050parliament.co.uk/about/


centre for women and democracy

The Centre for Women & Democracy believes that women are under-represented at all levels of public life and public decision-making and works to change this.  Based in the north of England, CFWD commission, carry out and publish research and reports on women in public life, both in the UK and around the world (see Publications & Reports and Fact Sheets); Run workshops to inform women about, and encourage them to become involved in, public decision-making; Prepare and submit evidence and other papers to consultations and inquiries carried out by parliament, government, political parties and other bodies 


engender (Scotland)

Women’s inequality cuts across almost every area of human experience. As Scotland’s general feminist organisation, that means our work is very wide ranging. The causes of women’s inequality and complicated and interlinked. This means that it is not always easy to categorise all of the differences pieces of work that we do, but it can be clustered under three broad headings. You can find out more detail about specific pieces of work on our blog, by reading our publications, or by checking out our projects. Women’s representation at the table changes the discussion, and so we want to see more women in parliament, in council chambers, and in policy spaces. We want to see women on conference panels, giving speeches, and offering opinion and analysis in the media and on news programmes.


The Good Parliament

A 2016 report from Prof Sarah Childs on what a Good Parliament would look like, including gender equality. Download

be a councillor

Be a Councillor is a useful website that shows how you can become a local councillor in your area. It talks you through how it works and who you should contact. 


parliament and women

Parliament and Women provides information on the history of women's representation in the UK as well as outlining how you can get more involved. 

inclusion scotland

Inclusion Scotland is run by disabled people themselves. They run the Access to Politics project: "Initially offering non-financial advice and guidance only, this project seeks to proactively reach out to disabled people in Scotland who may wish for greater involvement in political life (e.g. via a political party, a campaigning organisation, local community council, etc.) We can meet with them or discuss over phone or email the barriers they experience, and offer what help we can in developing solutions."