Nine out of 10 MP constituencies redrawn in planned Westminster shake-up

Nine out of 10 parliamentary constituencies would be redrawn under a planned shake-up of Westminster’s map.

MPs were last night coming to terms with the Boundary Commission for England’s long-awaited plans for an overhaul of their constituencies.

Two previous efforts to slim down the Commons from 650 MPs to 600 were abandoned, with ministers wasting £14million of the failed bids.

Under the proposals announced today, fewer than 10% of the 533 English constituencies would remain unchanged.

Parliamentary seats would be reshaped so all MPs have between 69,724 and 77,062 constituents – but the number of overall seats will stay the same.

The Boundary Commission for England has recommended sweeping changes to MPs' seats
The Boundary Commission for England has recommended sweeping changes to MPs’ seats

The review recommends adding 10 seats in England, while slashing eight from Wales and two from Scotland, to reflect population change.

But polling experts have suggested the review could boost the Tories by up to 10 seats as the population has been growing in the south, where the Conservatives are traditionally stronger, and declining in the north.

Under the plans, the South East would see the biggest change, boosting its seats by seven to 91 constituencies.

The South West region, which includes counties like Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset and Cornwall, would swell its ranks by three MPs, increasing to 58 constituencies.

The East of England, including Bedfordshire, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, would rise to having 61 MPs – a boost of three seats.

London would get two extra MPs, with 75 constituencies, while Yorkshire and Humber would remain the same with 54 seats.

The East Midlands will get an extra MP but the West Midlands will lose two seats.

The north of England will be harder hit, with the North East and the North West losing two MPs each.

Boris Johnson‘s Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency in West London appears mostly unchanged.

Keir Starmer‘s seat in Holborn and St Pancras will be slimmed down and renamed Kentish Town and Bloomsbury, but looks set to stay firmly Labour.

Tim Bowden, Secretary to the Boundary Commission for England, said: “Today’s proposals mark the first time people get to see what the new map of Parliamentary constituencies might look like. But they are just the Commission’s initial thoughts.

“Help us draw the line to make the number of electors in each Parliamentary constituency more equal.”

The review is expected to cost £2.5m in England, with Commissions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland due to publish separate plans.

England’s initial proposals will be subject to an eight-week consultation closing on August 2.

A second consultation with public hearings will happen next Spring, followed by a final review in the Autumn.

The final plan will be published in July 2023, leaving the Government four months to change the law.


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