Unpacking diversity: barriers and incentives to standing for elections to the National Assembly for Wales

Scully, Roger, Diana, Stirbu, Huw, Pritchard, Nye, Davies and Jac, Larner (2018) Unpacking diversity: barriers and incentives to standing for elections to the National Assembly for Wales. Other. Wales Governance Centre, Cardiff.

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Official URL: http://sites.cardiff.ac.uk/wgc/files/2018/07/REPOR...

Abstract / Description

This report was commissioned by the Remuneration Board of the National Assembly for Wales to look at barriers and incentives for people who have been deterred from standing to the National Assembly and to address the question of whether ‘a diverse range of persons with the appropriate skills and interest are in practice deterred from standing for election to the National Assembly by any aspect of the remuneration package (salary, pension, child care, and office and staffing allowances) and what may provide the incentives to do so’.

The research was conducted in two stages; through a review of evidence that explored academic and practical aspects of diversity and political recruitment, and a field study that used a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods to discover the lived experiences and perceptions of prospective candidates. This was done through survey, focus groups, one-to-one interviews, and an online engagement platform.

The research, identifies three pathways into political office and delineates structural, institutional, individual, political, and cultural barriers for candidates in all three. It highlights structural barriers in terms of the cost, time, and accessibility to standing, which are particular deterrents for underrepresented groups. Cultural, structural, and political factors, in terms of candidate selection and the electoral system and process were also seen as barriers to diverse representation. Wider contemporary political and cultural factors including a climate of toxicity in politics and the lack of understanding of the value of diversity, were raised as societal barriers.

The report makes recommendations that are directly relevant to the Board and its strategic objectives. It also makes broader recommendations where the Board can influence and inform others, or bring diversity matters on the agenda. The report suggests a theory of change through which the Board can achieve its strategic objectives by focusing on: improving information for potential candidates; improving the engagement strategy; providing for flexible working arrangements; and, potential of job share arrangements.

Item Type: Monograph (Other)
Uncontrolled Keywords: National Assembly for Wales, elections, diversity
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 320 Political science
Department: School of Social Professions
Depositing User: Diana Stirbu
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2018 07:53
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2018 07:53
URI: http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/2601

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