Tag Archives: constituencies

Boundary Reforms

The Conservatives are up in arms about the Liberals threatening to vote against boundary reforms and accusing the Liberals of hypocracy.

The Conservatives say that boundary reform is essential because it takes more voters to elect a Conservative MP than a Labour MP – this conveniently ignores just how many voters it takes to elect a Liberal MP.  I think I smell hypocracy.  They rejected electoral reform (which would solve this issue), by putting a poor system (AV) to a referendum and then campaigning against it.  Boundary Reform will give the Cons about 20 extra seats and possibly win them the next election.

The Liberals are opposing (having previously supported) because they say we should not reduce the number of elected legislators (MPs) by 50 given the loss of their proposals to reform the unelected Legislature (The Lords).  I think I smell tit-for-tat masquearading as “principal”.  Hypocracy?

The current proposals have faults that entirely justify their rejection.  The requirement to “equalise” constituency size to within a margin of 5% means: Continue reading

Messing with the boundaries

Recently the four national (Parliamentary) Boundary Commissioners were being grilled by the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee (HC 437-i) about implementing the Coalition Government’s desire to:

  1. Reduce the number of UK Parliamentary constituencies (to 600)
  2. Make all constituencies roughly equal in size

Questioning seemed to revolve around maintaining “natural communities” and avoiding splitting electoral divisions (local government electoral units).

It is also rumoured that the Labour Party is about to start selecting prospective candidates for the existing 650 constituencies.  This will inevitable force the other parties to do the same (a sort of PPC-war).  Then if the constituencies change, there will have to be some frantic reshuffling – and no doubt internecine fighting as prospective candidates fight to keep a constituency – any constituency. (So much for loyalty to a constituency and the “constituency link”!)

It is a totally foreseeable mess – and totally unnecessary. Continue reading

Myth Busting: The Constituency Link

“The Constituency Link” is often claimed by opponents of reform to be a vital element of the operation of representative democracy.  By this they mean single member constituencies.

But how real is this link and to who does it matter?  I suspect that outside the politorarti it is far less sacrosanct than claimed. Continue reading