Boundary Review is a cynical calculation 

House of Commons. Crown Copyright applies to this photo - http://www.flickr.com/photos/uk_parliament/4642915654/

Reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600 without also looking to cut ministers and a review of the House of Lords means the boundary review is being conducted on a fatally flawed basis.

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Constitutional and Political Reform Paul Tyler said: 

This boundary review is being conducted on a fatally flawed basis. The Conservatives have knocked 2 million people office the electoral register, mainly in densely populated areas, as part of a cynical calculation that the boundary review will produce fewer urban, Conservative-hostile constituencies.

Reducing the number of MPs without also reducing the size of the Executive is a mistake. With the pay-roll vote approaching half the membership of the government side of the Commons, the power of government to control Parliament is increased. And with no prospect of democratic reform of the Lords, we are edging towards a dangerous lack of democratic legitimacy in parliament.

The Conservatives are blatantly attempting to fix the system to keep themselves in power.

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10 Comments

  • Trevor Stables 26th Feb '16 - 11:54am

    The content of the article I totally agree with. However, we now need to engage and make sure the Boundaries reflect real communities and not a complete Tory gerrymander. Counter Proposals must be argued at Inquiries.

  • John B
    One of the key issues is the failure so far to reduce MP numbers in Wales, as has already happened in Scotland, to compensate for devolved powers going to AMs / MSPs. If that happened, there would be much less concern about numerical imbalances. I can’t agree with you on a “numbers only” basis. When people are geographically spread over large areas, there needs to be a reduction in population served by one elected rep. I have never subscribed to the primacy of numbers over everything else. Any community identity is overridden, which is a key part of involving and engaging people in politics.

    Going somewhat off thread, and basing a boundary review case on population (sorry, electorate numbers), I would be very interested in parliamentarians looking in detail at the final recommendations for Devon County Council review. The population projections for certain parts particularly of eastern Devon look dubious to say the least, and it has resulted in a projected number of County Councillors in the area being reduced, on the tendentious conclusion that some electorate sizes will reduce by around 10%! In a very popular retirement area. I cannot remember, in 60 years, such an event previously. The Boundary Commission will not look at it again, despite many complaints at all stages of the process, being made.

  • Richard Underhill 26th Feb '16 - 4:14pm

    David Cameron is not standing again as PM.
    Does he want to be a back bench MP as John Major was?

  • David Evershed 26th Feb '16 - 7:04pm

    The reduction in registered voters is thought to be the elimination of people who are registered in more than one constituency – for example students registered at their parents address and also the address where they are studying.

    Individual registration rather than household (combined with university hall of residence) registration cuts out the double counting.

    Plenty of people can’t be bothered to register but these are he same people who can’t be bothered to consider who to vote for and get to the polling station or arrange a postal vote.

  • If you are going to cut MP’s to reflect population then you should be looking at strengthening the links between NI, Scotland and Wales (so the relationships go beyond competing for funding) and strengthening their elected MP’s influence on the UK.. There is, after all, little point having one of the biggest Better Together meets in London and naff all in NI and Wales.

  • Tsar Nicholas 27th Feb '16 - 9:47am

    The proposal for Wales is to cut the number of MPs from 40 to just 11 – not something that I think will enhance continuing union.

  • The proposal for Wales is to cut the number of MPs from 40 to just 11 – not something that I think will enhance continuing union.

    According to the Boundary Review Commission those new constituencies will be of broadly equal size to every other Westminster constituency.

    Interesting that no one has picked up the other change: constituencies will be reviewed every 5 years, which given the massive increase in population being forecasted, means the traditional constituency is kind of dead…

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