UK parliamentary boundary review
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Author Topic: UK parliamentary boundary review  (Read 10552 times)
Pilchard
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« Reply #200 on: October 23, 2022, 09:27:46 PM »

The Boundary Commission for Wales has published its revised proposals today.



I haven't really had a proper look yet, but the weird peni-exclave of the Rhondda constituency is attracting comment.

Also they apparently ignored a lot of the Assistant Commissioners' recommendations.

Wow, what an absolute mess...and the current plan is to pair these up to create 16 six-member constituencies for the next Senedd election - good luck with that!
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YL
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« Reply #201 on: October 24, 2022, 02:16:33 AM »

The Boundary Commission for Wales has published its revised proposals today.



I haven't really had a proper look yet, but the weird peni-exclave of the Rhondda constituency is attracting comment.

Also they apparently ignored a lot of the Assistant Commissioners' recommendations.

Wow, what an absolute mess...and the current plan is to pair these up to create 16 six-member constituencies for the next Senedd election - good luck with that!

Monmouthshire/Torfaen
Newport E/Newport W & Islwyn
Caerphilly/Blaenau Gwent & Rhymney
Cardiff E/Cardiff N
Cardiff W/Cardiff S & Penarth
Vale of Glamorgan/Pontypridd (?)
Merthyr Tydfil & Upper Cynon/Rhondda
Aberafan Porthcawl/Bridgend
Neath & Swansea E/Brecon, Radnor & Cwm-Tawe (ugh, ugh)
Swansea C & N/Gower & Swansea W
Llanelli/Caerfyrddin
M & S Pembrokeshire/Ceredigion Preseli
Dwyfor Meirionnydd/Montgomeryshire & Glyndŵr
Bangor Aberconwy/Ynys Môn
Clwyd North/Clwyd East
Alyn & Deeside/Wrexham

Go ahead and tear that to shreds.

(Or maybe Merthyr goes with Brecon etc., allowing Bridgend with the Vale, Rhondda with Pontypridd and Aberafan Porthcawl with Neath & Swansea E)
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YL
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« Reply #202 on: November 08, 2022, 03:02:16 AM »

English and Scottish proposals now up:

England map (it says Yorkshire, but you can pan to the whole country)

Scotland map

At the moment I'm quite happy with the Yorkshire proposals, except for a handful of proposed names.  It's really a bit of a nonsense that when they decided to split Leeds city centre they kept the name "Leeds Central" for the constituency containing the smaller bit, which also extends to the edge of the city in several places, and used a name which doesn't even contain "Leeds" for the other one.
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beesley
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« Reply #203 on: November 08, 2022, 03:27:43 AM »

Whilst I can't say I like the proposals in Hampshire and Berkshire, I think they made the best of them. There will always be areas that have to adjoin onto a smaller town rather than the nearest one. Where counties are crossed they seem to have been done in the least disruptive way e.g. crossing Hampshire and Surrey's border near Farnham and Bordon.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #204 on: November 08, 2022, 10:22:22 AM »

Pleased at the changes to the map in Co. Durham: goes from one of the very worst set of proposals in the entire country to about as good as you're likely to see under the present (bad, deficient, awful) rules: it's nice that they've listened to reason somewhere. Less pleased that the mess in the Urban West Midlands and the Potteries has not been sorted out, but that was always less likely.
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CumbrianLefty
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« Reply #205 on: November 08, 2022, 10:36:58 AM »

The proposals for Cumbria are much improved (though could still be tidied up more)
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #206 on: November 08, 2022, 12:33:35 PM »

Pleased at the changes to the map in Co. Durham: goes from one of the very worst set of proposals in the entire country to about as good as you're likely to see under the present (bad, deficient, awful) rules: it's nice that they've listened to reason somewhere. Less pleased that the mess in the Urban West Midlands and the Potteries has not been sorted out, but that was always less likely.

Ironically one of the people they listened to in Co. Durham was me, even though I possess very little knowledge, whereas everywhere I did know what I was talking about I got ignored.
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DL
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« Reply #207 on: November 08, 2022, 12:40:42 PM »

Has there been any analysis yet of what the results of the 2019 election would have been transposed to these boundaries?

Obviously if Labour continues to have these massive leads over the Tories they will win no matter what but is there any sense of whether the new maps favour or disfavour any party?
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Conservatopia
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« Reply #208 on: November 08, 2022, 01:09:23 PM »

Has there been any analysis yet of what the results of the 2019 election would have been transposed to these boundaries?

Obviously if Labour continues to have these massive leads over the Tories they will win no matter what but is there any sense of whether the new maps favour or disfavour any party?

A couple of of extra seats for the Tories but nothing dramatic. Obviously with polling the way it is this makes little difference anyway.

As I understand it (and the other Britposters can correct me here) the reason that any boundary review would boost the Tories are twofold:
1) England receives a fairer share of the seats and the Tories are stronger in England.
2) People moving out of cities over time has led to cities being overrepresented in seats.

One thing that needs stressing for American posters is that the boundary review is nonpartisan and decided by independent bodies in each of the four nations. Biases do slip in occasionally but nothing like Illinois or North Carolina.
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JimJamUK
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« Reply #209 on: November 08, 2022, 02:05:13 PM »

As I understand it (and the other Britposters can correct me here) the reason that any boundary review would boost the Tories are twofold:
1) England receives a fairer share of the seats and the Tories are stronger in England.
2) People moving out of cities over time has led to cities being overrepresented in seats.

One thing that needs stressing for American posters is that the boundary review is nonpartisan and decided by independent bodies in each of the four nations. Biases do slip in occasionally but nothing like Illinois or North Carolina.
You are correct. It’s particularly Labour voting Wales that is overrepresented. It’s also post-industrial areas seeing relatively low population growth (if any) that has traditionally led to boundary reviews helping the Conservatives. Against this, the Tory gains in Welsh marginals and many ‘left behind’ areas has narrowed their notional benefit from boundary reviews. Also, this review was based on a more accurate electoral register than the 2015 one which has resulted in more private renters/students being counted (and Labour has generally been gaining in these sorts of ‘cosmopolitan’ areas) which has further reduced the previous national Conservative gains.

To add, the bias usually results from one party making more of an effort and knowing how to persuade the commission with non-partisan reasoning. Labour’s response to the pre-1997 review has been viewed as one of the most successful attempts to get favourable boundaries (though I can’t remember if it made much actual difference given they easily won the next 2 elections).
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #210 on: November 08, 2022, 02:09:15 PM »

In practice you're always talking of a small handful of seats. Because of the strange quirk of the 2005 election seeing a big Labour majority on a small Labour popular vote lead, a lot of Conservatives convinced themselves that there was a massive pro-Labour bias in the system, thus this new rules. And that was always a complete delusion: the reason for that odd result was Labour performed poorly in many usually 'safe' seats in 2005 (largely due to direct losses of votes to the LibDems over Iraq) but held up well against the Conservatives in marginals and swingy seats.
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Secretary of State Liberal Hack
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« Reply #211 on: November 08, 2022, 02:22:31 PM »

In practice you're always talking of a small handful of seats. Because of the strange quirk of the 2005 election seeing a big Labour majority on a small Labour popular vote lead, a lot of Conservatives convinced themselves that there was a massive pro-Labour bias in the system, thus this new rules. And that was always a complete delusion: the reason for that odd result was Labour performed poorly in many usually 'safe' seats in 2005 (largely due to direct losses of votes to the LibDems over Iraq) but held up well against the Conservatives in marginals and swingy seats.
What is the new rule ?
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YL
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« Reply #212 on: November 08, 2022, 04:08:05 PM »
« Edited: November 08, 2022, 04:13:02 PM by YL »

Has there been any analysis yet of what the results of the 2019 election would have been transposed to these boundaries?

Obviously if Labour continues to have these massive leads over the Tories they will win no matter what but is there any sense of whether the new maps favour or disfavour any party?

A couple of of extra seats for the Tories but nothing dramatic. Obviously with polling the way it is this makes little difference anyway.

As I understand it (and the other Britposters can correct me here) the reason that any boundary review would boost the Tories are twofold:
1) England receives a fairer share of the seats and the Tories are stronger in England.
2) People moving out of cities over time has led to cities being overrepresented in seats.

This is correct, but (2) is less the case than it often has been in the past, especially in the slum clearance era when many urban seats became seriously depopulated.  Indeed several urban seats are oversized and are having areas removed; most notably Bristol is getting an extra half-seat and London gains two seats.  This means the tendency to favour the Tories is less than in some past reviews, though they do still gain from new seats in many southern counties, well at least if they avoid losing them to the Lib Dems.
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YL
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« Reply #213 on: November 08, 2022, 04:23:48 PM »
« Edited: November 08, 2022, 04:37:57 PM by YL »

In practice you're always talking of a small handful of seats. Because of the strange quirk of the 2005 election seeing a big Labour majority on a small Labour popular vote lead, a lot of Conservatives convinced themselves that there was a massive pro-Labour bias in the system, thus this new rules. And that was always a complete delusion: the reason for that odd result was Labour performed poorly in many usually 'safe' seats in 2005 (largely due to direct losses of votes to the LibDems over Iraq) but held up well against the Conservatives in marginals and swingy seats.
What is the new rule ?

Before 2011 a "quota" was calculated for each part of the UK by dividing the electorate of that part of the UK by its existing number of constituencies, and the aim was to get the electorate of each constituency close to that quota, but this was balanced by a number of other considerations (respect county boundaries, avoid unnecessary change, try to avoid hideous constituencies, respect "local ties", etc.) and there was no tolerance limit.  In practice the Commissions tended to aim for a 10% tolerance or so, but they were a bit inconsistent (and occasionally incompetent) so sometimes went beyond that.  Because of the separate quotas, Welsh over-representation was maintained; Scottish over-representation was corrected by a special review after the creation of the Scottish Parliament.  And there was no rule that the overall number of constituencies was fixed, so reviews tended to slightly increase the number of seats.

Now the whole UK has the same quota, there's a fixed 5% tolerance which applies everywhere, except for a handful of special cases, and over-rides all other criteria, and the number of seats for each part of the UK (and English region) is fixed in advance by a Sainte-Laguë allocation.  It's not (IMO) actually that bad in principle, but does mean that long-standing traditions such as respecting county boundaries have to be thrown out, with some awkward seats as a result, and the first two attempts by the Commissions at using the new rules were awful in ways which went well beyond that; this one seems to be a bit better, though there are exceptions.
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DL
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« Reply #214 on: November 08, 2022, 05:47:23 PM »

So does Scotland lose seats in this new map? If so that would only hurt the SNP, right?
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Torrain
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« Reply #215 on: November 08, 2022, 06:33:08 PM »

So does Scotland lose seats in this new map? If so that would only hurt the SNP, right?
Not really - the new boundaries look like they’ll slightly favour them in several seats, notably the highly marginal seats currently held by Lib Dems Jamie Stone, and Wendy Chamberlain.

Scotland losing two seats just reflects long-term population trends - and you’d have to make some very disingenuous arguments to suggest that Scotland was somehow being politically silenced by losing those seats.
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YL
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« Reply #216 on: November 14, 2022, 04:00:12 PM »

Electoral Calculus notionals

Con 375 (+10)
Lab 198 (-5)
SNP 48 (no change)
LD 10 (-3)
Plaid 2 (-2)
Green 1 (no change)
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Conservatopia
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« Reply #217 on: November 15, 2022, 08:00:38 AM »

This is a list of prominent MPs whose seats are being abolished.

Andrew Percy (Con)
Simon Hart (Con)
Andrew Gwynne (Lab)
Chris Skidmore (Con)
Rachel Reeves (Lab)
Ian Blackford (SNP)
Bill Cash (Con)
Valerie Vaz (Lab)
Alison McGovern (Lab)
Ben Wallace (Con)

Some of these (e.g. Skidmore) will have trouble finding a winnable seat nearby. The party or factional apparatus will find (in some cases, has already found) seats for others like Blackford, Reeves and Wallace. Could McGovern face trouble finding a seat due to her factional background? I could definitely see her deciding to leave Parliament and head a think-tank of some description.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #218 on: November 15, 2022, 10:19:59 AM »

Percy is probably gone, unless David Davis or Martin Vickers decides to retire (and even then he wouldn't be sure of selection.)

Hart will probably face off against Crabb and given the latter's scandals he might well win. Carmarthenshire might have been close in 2019 but won't be in 2024.

Gwynne has been talked about as a likely retirement for a while. If Khan goes for Manchester Rusholme he'd win Gorton & Denton, but I'm not sure that he will.

Skidmore is dependent on musical chairs. Rees-Mogg has first claim on NE Somerset & Hanham, but may prefer Frome, especially since Warburton is unlikely to be allowed to stand again. If Rees-Mogg plumps for NE Somerset, Skidmore is screwed and even if he doesn't NE Somerset isn't going to be entirely easy going.

Reeves would probably be fine in Pudsey. She may try to pull rank, but I'm not sure she has to.

Blackford can probably pull rank on Hendry, and even if he can't there are plenty of anonymous SNP backbenchers who could be prevailed upon to step down.

Bill Cash is 82. He'd probably be happy with either the Stone or the Stafford seat and there are enough seats to go round in Staffordshire, but he's probably retiring anyway.

Vaz out to be fine in Walsall & Bloxwich. It's West Midlands Labour, so it's not entirely unloseable, but it's a lot better for her than the initial proposals were.

McGovern is pretty screwed. 40% of her seat goes into Ellesmere Port & Bromborough, but not 40% of the new seat so I'm unsure if she has a claim. Less than 40% goes into Wirral West but I suspect Greenwood would be easier to beat than Madders.

The new Lancaster & Wyre isn't that different from the old seat Wallace represented from 2005 until 2010, but if the election result in 2024 is what it looks like being, that will be no comfort to him. Possibly best off hoping that Nigel Evans gets offered a peerage and makes it through the approval process?
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CumbrianLefty
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« Reply #219 on: November 15, 2022, 10:43:20 AM »

Alison McGovern could conceivably go for Birkenhead if Mick Whitley (widely seen as a stop-gap even when he was adopted in 2019) actually retires?

I wouldn't rate her "factional background" as overly important tbh - she is neither the loudest or most tribal from that wing of the party. And given that her seat *is* effectively being abolished (one of just a very few Labour MPs for which that is the case) she would likely be given dispensation by party HQ to look for a berth elsewhere if she wants.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #220 on: November 15, 2022, 11:29:49 AM »

It's also the case that the factional landscape on Merseyside is undergoing a 'degree' of turmoil at the moment, and that the Unite/Left block was never as dominant as outsiders tended to assume. A good illustration of all of this is the trouble that Ian Byrne is in right now, even if he does survive in the end.

Anyway, if a seat in the Commons can't be found for McGovern then as she's seen as a useful junior minister type figure, she'll presumably be given a peerage: c.f. Bryan Davies in 1997 or Doris Fisher back in 1970.
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YL
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« Reply #221 on: November 17, 2022, 01:52:46 PM »

Northern Ireland revised proposals are out: https://www.boundarycommission.org.uk/2023-review-parliamentary-constituencies

Not much change from the initial proposals, but Strangford no longer gains Downpatrick and doesn't get renamed "Strangford & Quoile", and there are some adjustments at the southern end of County Tyrone to allow Fermanagh & South Tyrone to keep Dungannon and not extend so far east.

Belfast South still extends south to include Saintfield and is renamed "Belfast South & Mid Down", the only new name proposed.
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