[First Published on Tuesday 13th September 2011]
The following post was first published on ConSoc’s previous site. It is recorded here as a window onto issues as they were at the time. For more up to date news on the Constitution and Constitutional reform, make sure to follow the ConSoc blog.
The Boundary Commission for England has published its proposals for the size and shape of the 502 English constituencies to be contested at the next parliamentary election in 2015. The results of the boundary review reflect both a reduction in the number of MPs (the size of the House of Commons will be cut by 50) and a new emphasis on equalising the size of parliamentary constituencies to make sure that people’s votes carry equal weight at Westminster. Both of these changes were agreed by Parliament in February’s Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act.
In the past, the number of constituents was only one of a number of equally important factors that were taken into consideration when drawing constituency boundaries. It was thought equally important to avoid crossing county boundaries, splitting wards or undermining established communities. The result of taking account of these other factors which was generally a greater variation in the size of constituencies.