In the Conservatives’ 2015 Manifesto, they committed to a review of constituency boundaries, reducing the number of Members of Parliament to 600. Much umbrage was taken to this, as instead of being based on constituency population, it’s instead based on registered electors. As such, the Tories have been accused of trying to create an in-built majority to the House of Commons. Politics isn’t easy to understand – especially statistical politics like this – so Pulse Politics are doing the legwork for you, and finding out how this would affect the UK’s political landscape.
Easily the most interesting change – or lack thereof – is bellwether constituency Bristol North West. Currently held by Tory Charlotte Leslie, the constituency has elected a candidate for the winning party in every General Election since October 1974. On a constituency level, Leslie is widely regarded as a popular MP, and featured in the BBC Series ‘Inside the Commons’, which can be viewed here. Oddly, aside from two minor changes, Bristol stays more or less untouched.
Right at the tip of the South West in Cornwall, one constituency is lost, moving to five, plus one shared with neighbouring county and historical rival Devon.
This will be a very interesting one to watch as until their 2015 wipeout, the Liberal Democrats had historically done exceptionally well in this part of the country:
Formerly making up over a quarter of the South West MPs, these boundary changes could cause one of two things to happen for the Lib Dems:
- The Lib Dems make a resurgence and take up the role of the South West’s opposition once more
- The party’s fortunes die out in the South West and they never recover
It’s too early to predict which this will be, but either way it’ll be an exciting political development.