The Boundary Commission for England has commenced its review of Parliamentary constituencies in England, in accordance with the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 (as amended by the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011).
What is the boundary review?
Parliamentary boundaries define the geographic area represented by each MP – their Parliamentary constituency. A Parliamentary boundary review examines the existing constituencies and makes recommendations for any changes that might be needed to make sure constituencies comply with legal requirements. Those legal requirements are intended to keep the number of electors in each constituency broadly equal, whilst also taking into account factors such as local community ties.
For the 2018 Review, the Commission must make its final report and recommendations in September 2018. Those final recommendations will be informed by a series of open consultations with the public, to capture the knowledge and expertise of local people as part of the process of refining our initial proposals.
Why are they doing a review?
Parliament has specified that the 2018 Review must reduce the number of constituencies in the UK to 600 (from the current 650). As independent and impartial bodies, the Parliamentary Boundary Commissions are required to review and recommend where the boundaries of those new constituencies should be, with the law requiring that every new constituency (except four specified island constituencies) must have roughly the same number of electors: no fewer than 71,031 and no more than 78,507.
What does this mean for England?
The law requires the 600 constituencies to be allocated to England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales using a specific distribution formula known as the ‘Sainte-Lague method’, and the number of Parliamentary electors as at 1 December 2015. Applying this means the number of constituencies in England will reduce from 533 to 501 in the 2018 Review.
What do you need to know?
- The number of constituencies in the North East must reduce from 29 to 25
- By law, every constituency we propose must contain between 71,031 and 78,507 electors
- We largely use local government wards as the building blocks for proposed constituencies
- We try to retain existing constituencies where possible
- We try to have regard to geographic factors
What happens now?
The Boundary Commission for England published and consulted on the initial proposals for new constituency boundaries. The commission received nearly 20,000 responses to that consultation.
The next stage of the 2018 Review is to publish those representations so that others may comment on them. The Commission intends to publish all representations on Tuesday 28 February 2017, and invite comments on them for four weeks until Monday 27 March 2017.
Representations will be published on the Commission's website. The Commission encourages you to take time to see what others have said about the initial proposals, and add your views to those.
More details about the review of boundaries can be found on the Boundary Commission website.