On Monday the government tabled the final recommendations of the boundary review. As usual, I’ve done updated notional calculations for what the results of the 2017 election would have been if fought on the new constituency boundaries. They are viewable in full on a google spreadsheet on the link below:

2017 notional election results on new boundaries

For those who have followed the process these recommendations are not much different from those at the revised stage. The Commissions have altered a number of proposed constituency names, and moved a few wards back and forth here and there, but in most cases the broad recommendations are very similar to the last lot – the most significant differences are in East Sussex and around Stockport. As such the party partisan impact of the proposed boundaries are also much the same. If the last general election had been fought on these new boundaries the result would have been something like Conservative 307(-10), Labour 234(-28), SNP 30(-5), Liberal Democrats 8(-4), Others 21(-3). All of the high profile seat changes are largely the same – Boris Johnson and Iain Duncan Smith still both see their seats become tight marginals, Jeremy Corbyn’s seat is still carved up and combined with half of Dianne Abbott’s seat.

A few caveats to those numbers. First, for the avoidance of doubt, they are not a prediction of what would happen now, it’s an estimate what would have happened if the votes cast in 2017 had been counted on these new boundaries. Secondly, they cannot take account of whether people would have voted differently if the boundaries had been different. My feeling is that always someone understates how well the Lib Dems would have done – someone in a Lab-Con marginal might have voted differently if their ward had been included in a Con-LD marginal. Thirdly, these are just one estimate. Rallings & Thrasher, who produce the official estimates that the BBC, Sky and other media outlets would use to calculate swings at the next election have already produced their own totals, which are similar to the ones I have (for good reason, I use pretty much the same method that Rallings & Thrasher do) – their totals are CON 308, LAB 232, SNP 33, LDEM 7, Other 20.

The most important caveat however is that these boundaries still have to be voted on by Parliament to actually come into force. The DUP may back them after all (the initial recommendations were very bad for them and good for Sinn Fein, but the revised and final recommendations retained a four seat arrangement for Belfast, meaning the DUP should retain all their seats), but that still leaves the government with a wafer thin majority. It will only take a handful of rebels (either worried about their own seats, or objecting to things like the seat crossing the Devon-Cornwall border, or opposed in principle to the reduction in seats) to block the changes. We won’t find out in the immediate future, as the government have said the vote will be delayed for some months while the necessary legislation is drafted.

For more on the boundary review, Keiran Pedley has done a nice interview with the great Professor Ron Johnston on his podcast here.

While I was playing with boundary data yesterday, there was also a new YouGov poll of London for Phil Cowley at Queen Mary University London that I haven’t had time to write about yet. Full details of that are here.


805 Responses to “The end of the boundary review”

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  1. Millie,
    “but will in fact be a superFudge, with cans propelled into the stratosphere.”

    Its all so silly, isnt it!

    “Much more likely is that we will look back upon the process and conclude that both sides were represented by incompetents.”

    Ah, I dont know if they are truly super Machiavellis, but I am sure they prefer to be seen as incompetent just now

    Al Urqua,
    “. I wonder what our constitution says.”

    I think I ventured to answer that before. Our constitution says the queen and parliament are sovereign and have total power to do anything physically possible. In practice that means a majority of 1 in each of the commons and lords, and the queen will rubber stamp whatever.

    Or, the constitution says the government has the power to suspend parliament and rule by decree. At least until the rioting gets too bad.

  2. Alec,
    ” The critical thing for them is that they just get any deal, otherwise Brexit is off. ”

    Its farce. It truly is. Any deal is now better than no deal. May’s election slogan turned on its head.

    Al Urqua,
    “By extending A50 Labour could side-step Brexit”

    They could, but I dont see the EU agreeing to do that except perhaps to allow time for a referendum or an orderly remain.

    Trevor Warne,
    “My interest is ensuring we don’t starve”

    Well thats good to know. Was that a leave referendum promise?

    Its hard to believe we are even considering the possibility compared to the security the Uk has enjoyed as an EU member.

    “No one has ever left the EU, or ripped up a trade deal with them before”

    There is iceland. But maybe all these people have a point if everyone wants to join and no one wants to leave?

    Allan Christie,
    “Lib/Dems 13%…..Still not enough to get me out of my bed to be bothered with”

    Is that remainers deserting labour because it isnt remainy enough? Time for labour to declare its colours? I think they will hold their nerve a little yet.

    Peterw,
    ” And only primary legislation can do either of those things.”

    But it doesnt have to be very complex. It merely has to say something like ‘notwithstanding the requirements of any existing statute…we will have a referendum on ….insert date.. and the question asked is…..insert question” I’m sure the drafting office could knock up something much neater in half an hour.

  3. Trevor Warne,
    “there are two people posting under my name today ”

    Any of them Russian?

    “could you pop into the parallel universe where we never joined the EU (ie never signed Maastricht) and see what happened. ”

    British manufacturing industry failed to recover because it did not have access to the EU integrated economy. The city of London shrank because it was fenced out of the European market, and instead of american banks moving here, ours all went to the US. The population was smaller, what with all the emigration. There was a massive brain drain to anywhere with money. Uk universities are rubbish.

    James Dyson never managed to develop his cleaner, and died penniless.

    Oh, JLR and all the other Uk marques – died.

  4. New thread

  5. The latest polls are back to at least a 2-3% Tory lead, it will be interesting to see how they react to Salzburg both in terms of party standing and attitudes to Brexit. Macron’s weird comments when he said “This is all the more true because they left the next day, so they didn’t have to manage it” were really ludicrous. Well the only person who left the next day was Cameron who campaigned to remain. Most of the prominent Brexiters ended up in May’s cabinet. It shows that Macron has about as much understanding of UK politics, as he has personal support from French voters judging by the polls in France. One MP called him a pr*t, just another thought he was playing at being the Sun King, either way he looked ridiculous. Is it any surprise that for large parts of the last 1000 years we have been at war with France? Tusks silly little joke backfired as well, although he subsequently tried to sound more conciliatory.

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