2023 Constituency Boundary Changes: What Will The Impact Be?

Map Of England showng some county outlines
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In 2023, a series of constituency boundary changes are due to come into effect

Interesting to note that current constituency boundaries have been in use since 2010. Neither of the two previous boundary reviews (in 2013 & 2018) have been adopted or implemented

Both 2013 & 2015 recommended dropping the number of parliamentary seats by 50 to 600

The 2023 change keeps the number of MPs at 650

BUT

the changing of the boundaries would see an increase in seats in England from 533 to 543 with both Wales and Scotland having the number of seats representing them reduced.

This would lead to an estimated +15 for CON & -4 LAB

Looking at the seats that are being affected, new seats created etc. it does seem to disproportionately favour Conservative MPs

Of course, this is all assumed data and won’t be validated until a general election is held

Looking at the list of new seats, I can see that my local town would have its own seat.

I now understand why my local MP has been spending so much time away from our town and in another area of the constituency – he already knows he won’t be standing as our MP after the changes

Instead he’s buttering up the constituency that’ll be created next door. Why? It’s more affluent & won’t be affected as much by HS2

Even before boundaries have been ratified it’s already having an impact on politics at a local level

How many more MPs are planning to jump ship

You can bet those MPs affected will be looking at what their next move can be & where it will be most prudent for them to be seen out and about – especially the Labour MPs who will not have a safe seat anywhere near them.

To see if you’ll be affected see: electoralcalculus.co.uk/boundaries2023…

How Are The Constituency Boundaries Decided?

For those of you interested and because I am avoiding doing work

The constituency boundaries are decided by 4 boundary commissions based in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland with a separate one that covers local government boundaries

England: https://boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk/

The Boundary Commission states that:

they are “arms length” public bodies that are “sponsored” by the cabinet office but are not under direct ministerial control

Hmmmm DIRECT? That’s a bit fishy isn’t it? They may not be directed but I bet they can be suggested to.

Who’s On The Commission?

The commission is chaired by The Speaker of The House of Commons but this is a figurehead position by the sounds of it. The man with the real power must be a judge that is elected by the Lord Chancellor

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The Lord Chancellor is currently Dominic Raab😭

The Deputy Chair is a guy named Sir Peter Lane who was appointed by the the-Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland in 2020 and will serve a term of 3 years until June 2023 (presumably just before the poop hits the fan when the change comes into effect)

There’s not a lot about Sir Peter but I did find this gem

“I therefore did the sort of miscellaneous work that, in retrospect, one might say has been ‘good for the soul’, such as possession actions and prosecuting a man who had allegedly invented a system of winning at roulette but who, when convicted, asked for time to pay as he was on benefits”

He was also a “fee-paid” immigration adjudicator and also heard asylum appeals

See:

Courts And Tribunals Judiciary

https://www.judiciary.uk https://www.judiciary.uk/publications/tribunal-judge-to-the-high-court-bench-knowles-lane-2019/

I mean, in relation to the guy’s roles and attitude: Tell me you’re a Conservative without telling me you’re a conservative

(Allegedly that’s my personal opinion, don’t sue me)

There’s also civil servants and lawyers who act as other commissioners and assistant commissioners.

The lack of diversity is shocking. Of the 21 people listed on the website there was:

1 Non-white male
7 women

The rest were all men

Hardly representative of England’s makeup

It’s easy to see with the people that comprise the Boundary Commission in the UK why the change is constituencies favours the Tories so much.

I know you might argue that they will not bring their politics into it, but how can you be sure?

Do They Work For Us Or Those In Charge?

Who is the commission accountable to?

In a way we *are* lucky that we have what on the outside appears to be an autonomous commission looking into boundary changes

While they say they can’t be directed by the government, at least it’s not like the USA where those in charge Gerrymander their states to remain in power

Maybe I’m just so jaded by the current levels of Tory Corruption and incompetence that I can’t believe that a commission that is sponsored by the government won’t be told what to do even when it’s supposed to be independent

And that is truly a shame

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