Plans to redraw electoral map will scrap 50 seats

10 Sep 18

Proposed new boundaries to UK electoral constituencies, slashing the number of MPs from 650 to 600, have been submitted to parliament.

The plans published by the Boundary Commission for England today come after a lengthy consultation that began in February 2016 and heard from 35,000 people.

Commission secretary Sam Hartley said: “We have travelled the country, taken account of over 35,000 public comments, and heard many impassioned views about how best to reflect local communities in our recommendations, while ensuring that constituencies are all much more equally represented.

“We are confident that the map we propose today is the best match of the legal rules parliament has set us.”

The proposals were drawn up in response to the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011, which introduced a mandatory reduction in constituencies in the UK.

This legislation requires all constituencies to be “broadly similar in electoral size” and within 5% of a quota representing the median average electorate.

The changes in the number of seats available under the new proposals are as follows:

  • England: 501 (down from 533)
  • Scotland: 53 (down from 59)
  • Wales: 29 (down from 40)
  • Northern Ireland: 17 (down from 18)

The 2011 Act was approved under the then coalition government, and the number of constituencies was supposed to shrink between 2010 and 2015. MPs must now debate and vote on the proposals.

Cat Smith, Labour’s shadow minister for voter engagement and youth affairs, said the boundary recommendations were a “power grab” by the Conservatives.

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