UCL Public Seminar Summary – Parliamentary Boundaries Review
This seminar was conducted by Prof Ron Johnston, Prof Charles Pattie and David Rossiter who presented the findings of their audit of the public consultation phase of the boundary review. All commissions must present their Final Report to the Secretary of State by 1 October 2013.
What fundamental changes were made?
The criteria for determining the boundaries changed from an organic one to an arithmetic one and this fact dominates the kind of transformation that will be seen. In the past the drawing up of constituency boundaries took into account a sense of community and historical connections between places, the new system laid out in The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011 is defined by mathematical rules. These rules require that all UK Constituencies (with the exception of four) have electorates within -/+5% of the national quota of 76,641. The effects of this mean that it has often been impossible for the Boundary Commissions to keep historically and socially connected areas together.
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