Pressing on why the Liberal Party failed to resonate with many female voters, Lay said the women “didn’t hear much of what we were saying”.
“They didn’t believe, perhaps, that we were focused enough on them and their lives. But again, many women really supported us and I’ve heard from many of those women and my farr’s territorial Among the voters, the party leaned towards me at 7 per cent.
The Labor Party added an additional six women, bringing their total women-held seats to 35. Also, women now hold only 9 seats in the Liberal Party, down from 13 in the previous parliament.
During the last term of parliament, the Senate tipped to have more than half female representation, but has raised its rank further. After the new senators take their seats in July, 57 percent of it will be women.
Labor has had quotas for female representation in winnable seats since the mid-1990s, while levels have improved over time, while the Liberal Party has long resisted quotas.
Asked if she would advocate for quotas for women, Lay said it was a matter of state division of the party as she indicated she was ready to discuss quotas “with merit”.
“Quota in itself sometimes overlooks the issue of eligibility. You only have to look at the women of our party to know that merit played a very strong role in their presence in this building,” she said.
Senior Liberal senator Anne Ruston said a comprehensive review of the party’s electoral defeat would investigate why voters left the party, but said more could be done to support women running for office.
“Affirmative action to ensure that we have got the widest diversity in the party is very important as we rebuild because we are an alternative government,” he said.