What’s on Offer: How do Parties Appeal to Women Voters in Election Manifestos?

Anna Sanders, Francesca Gains, Claire Annesley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Existing research has tended to examine party manifesto appeals to women
voters as a homogenous group, however, we know relatively little about how
parties appeal to different groups of women voters. Yet there are strong
incentives for parties to respond to and reflect diversity in women’s voting
behaviour. Through a gendered analysis of party manifestos at the 2015,
2017 and 2019 British general elections, we investigate the spread and reach
of parties’ policy appeals to women voters. We find that, while the principal
state-wide parties are increasingly recognizing women’s diversity in their
policy pledges, some groups of women remain marginalized from parties’
electoral agendas. Our findings extend the empirical and analytical
understanding of how political parties make gendered appeals during
election times and to whom. We argue the way parties seek to appeal to the
diversity of women is important for the analysis of both issue ownership and
interparty competition for women’s votes. Additionally, we make a normative
case for parties to recognize diversity and intersectionality in their manifesto
policy promises.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2021


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