Britain’s feminists were put through an emotional rollercoaster, which ultimately ended in despair, as notorious “anti-feminist” MP Philip Davies kept his seat in Parliament.
Davies, who represents Shipley in West Yorkshire and also writes a regular column for Heat Street, has become a feminist hate figure in recent years for opposing, and often derailing, their political aims.
As the votes were being counted overnight it was falsely reported that Davies had lost his seat to the Labour Party. This provoked paroxysms of joy from his rivals:
Philip Davies gone. pic.twitter.com/p90stmJiOl
— Rosamund Urwin (@RosamundUrwin) June 9, 2017
Apparently Philip Davies is in trouble in Shipley? Couldn't happen to a nicer bloke! Women and (everyone who isn't a sexist bigot) rejoice
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) June 9, 2017
Parliament looks to have lost a great representative for women's rights in Philip Davies.
— Kate McCann (@KateEMcCann) June 9, 2017
Labour say they have ousted the delightful Philip Davies in Shipley and my colleague @mikeysmith is opening a beer
— Jack Blanchard (@Jack_Blanchard_) June 9, 2017
However, when the count was actually made, Davies won. Despite an increase in Labour’s share, he ultimately received more votes than ever before.
Feminist Twitter was devastated:
You have got to be fucking kidding?
— Jeanna Skinner (@JeannaLStars) June 9, 2017
FUCK YOU PHILIP DAVIES YOU FILIBUSTERING ASSHOLE. https://t.co/neWtQBzAxR
— Captured By Corinne (@CorinneDinDin) June 9, 2017
I don't think I can sleep until you tell me we'll get Philip Davies next time.
— Ellie Cumbo (@EllieCumbo) June 9, 2017
Davies’ anti-feminist agenda prompted the leader of Britain’s fringe Women’s Equality Party to challenge him in Shipley as well.
Despite her lack of support, the media lapped up the spectacle, and even US outlets covered her attempt to beat Davies.
However, as Heat Street reported at the time, Sophie Walker’s campaign was riven by in-fighting with local feminists who resented her presence.
Ultimately she came in last place, with less than 2% of the vote. The humiliation even cost her £500 ($630) because of how badly she polled.
Under a British electoral law designed to prevent time-wasting by hopeless candidates, anybody who fails to reach 5% of the total vote share forfeits a security deposit held by election officials.