Mhairi Black of the SNP
SNP winner for Paisley and East Renfrewshire Mhairi Black (20) has become the youngest MP in British history Getty

A record number of women have now been elected to the House of Commons, to make up more than a quarter of all MPs for the first time in the history of Westminster. Around 191 women have won seats, eclipsing the total of 148 women by the end of the last Parliament.

The result is far from the 325 female MPs needed for equal representation, but it is a step in the right direction. Although over half of the UK population is female, most constituencies have never had a woman MP. In this election, Britain had 102 seats with no female candidates.

Women will now account for around 29% of all MPs according to the results so far, an increase from under 25% in the last five years. However, the number is still shy of the number of women in Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly who make up 35% and 40% of all MPs respectively.

Among the notable men who have lost out to their female counterparts include Ed Balls, who was defeated by the Conservatives Andrea Jenkyns, and Jim Murphy, who was ousted by Kirsten Oswald of the Scottish National Party. Also riding the SNP's wave of success was Mhairi Black, the 20-year-old politics student who beat Labour heavyweight Douglas Alexander to take the seat at Paisley and East Renfrewshire.

The Electoral Reform Society predicted that the female contingent would increase to 192 in this election, a rise which would place the UK in 36<sup>th place in the world rankings for female parliamentary representation. On average, the last three elections have seen eight extra women elected to Westminster.

Ahead of the election the Electoral Reform Society had called for parties to "redouble their efforts to select women in winnable seats" while campaigning to abolish the current First Past the Post system.

"It's hard for Parliament to do its job of giving voice to the population when it looks so little like the people it is there to represent," Katie Ghose, chief executive of the organisation, told IBTimes UK.