From one year ago, the Inaugural Speech of @FionaPattenMLC http://fionapatten.com/parliament-item/fiona-patten-inaugural-speech/ … #SpringSt
Looking at Google NGrams for British English (presumably more relevant than US English for Westminster Parliamentary systems), I can see that "maiden speech" is on the decline, and "inaugural speech" is on the rise.
Some conservatives suspect it's because "maiden speech" is regarded as politically incorrect. How political correctness threatens Australian culture claims as an example of political correctness "A member of parliament's maiden speech is now called their "first speech"" and Paul Fletcher's blog post on his maiden speech says "Being something of a traditionalist, I referred to it as my “Maiden Speech” even though this is now thought to be somewhat politically incorrect. Apparently the preferred term is the rather more prosaic “First Speech”."
Is this suspicion true? Is "maiden speech" regarded as politically incorrect?