Boundary Update

I expect this will be the last one of these for a few years, as the Commons looks likely to vote to approve the Lords amendment abandoning the current boundary review and setting the next boundary review to begin in 2015, reporting in September-October 2018. Today should see an end to matters one way or the other – looking in detail at the amendments before the House today, the government has tabled a counter amendment that would reject the Lords amendment, and adopt the Boundary Commissions final recommendations without the need for further votes in the Commons and Lords.

415 Responses to “Boundary Update”

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  1. Is there *any* way the boundary changes could be revived now, even if the LDs could be brought on-side? I don’t see it.

  2. @Amber Star

    A fairly heavy hint from Tim Montgomerie on Start the Week (yesterday, Radio 4) that he lurks here.

    I’d better stop making facetious comments about the “high priest of Conservatism”. :).

  3. No addmission from the libdems yet, that this was revenge for the failure of lords reform, I’m not sure that it would be all that damaging for the dems to fess up

  4. Good Evening All. Long run on the beach, to return to see the vote on BBC Politics page.

    DUP and SDLP in the same lobby. I expect the Tories feel a little let down by their partners.

  5. @RiN

    On the contrary, failure to support Lords Reform was explicitly mentioned during debate by Lib Dem MPs, on the basis that they only supported reduction of MPs if there was to be reform in the House of Lords to counter a strong Government Vote in the commons. Much comment was also made about the number of Conservative Lords appointments exceeding the number, and cost, of the MP reduction.

  6. JB


  7. Maybe Tim is MiM?
    Nice designer stubble Tim very Tom Sawyer.

  8. Jayblanc

    Yes, the two things have been linked but no libdems has actually admitted point blank that its a tit for tat

  9. @PC

    “Is there a secret, cunning reason why DC went ahead with a vote he was bound to lose?”

    Cameron can tell the voters that all the other parties are anti-democratic (imbalance of boundaries), and the Lib Dems in particular have once again changed their colours (BC commission, tuition fees, EU referendum).

    That’s about all I can see from it.

  10. The conservative MPs who complained about the “unprecedented” suspension of cabinet collective responsibility for a House of Commons vote were in fact incorrect. The precedent was actually already set, and set during the National Government coalition in the 1930s when Liberals voted against protective tariffs.

  11. I find it interesting that lots of Tories are now talking about a coalition with the LibDems in the future being an impossibility over this (because the Tories would refuse to go in to coalition with them) – if 2015 leaves us with another hung parliament, I have a feeling this attitude will rapidly change. ;)


    @”On the contrary, failure to support Lords Reform was explicitly mentioned during debate by Lib Dem MPs, on the basis that they only supported reduction of MPs if there was to be reform in the House of Lords to counter a strong Government Vote in the commons. ”

    Yes-by Thurso.

    On DP this morning Ian Dale reminded the LIbDem bloke that Cameron whipped support of Clegg’s Lords proposals & it was a rebellion caused by the poor Bill which lost it.
    Whereas LIbDems were whipped today to vote against the Boundary proposals.

    In HoC, Jesse Norman-HoL Reform Bill Rebel in chief – reminded Thurso that LDs were offered a Bill to reduce Lords numbers-& they turned it down.

    I think STATGEEK is right. This was all about putting the LibDem twists & turns on the record for future reference.

  13. Oddly while we might find this interesting the telegraph has relegated this story to the bottom of the politics section and then its only a satire piece. I expected that there would be ready made opinion pieces ripping into the dems

  14. @paulcroft

    “…Is there a secret, cunning reason why DC went ahead with a vote he was bound to lose?…”

    1) There was no reason *not* to have the vote: the people were already there, the venue was paid for, the opportunity cost was zero.
    2) Having the vote had a slight upside: it the vote was lost then the LibDems could be portrayed as dealing falsely with consequent reputational cost. If the vote was won, the 2015 election was placed within reach.
    3) Procedural. The wheels were already set in motion and, if you don’t eat it today, it’ll be on your plate tomorrow.
    4) It’s always nice to keep your MPs busy. If you don’t, they may start thinking of something of their own to do, and that’s not good


    The US House of Cards is released on Friday 1st and my, it does look handsome.


  15. @Colin

    Of course, it’s just me looking for a best guess. If indeed some politicians do lurk within these electronic walls, be damned, the lot of you!

    Be redeemed by getting super-fast broadband to the rural masses.



    [With apologies to ‘Spartacus’]

  17. From Mike Smithson @ Political Betting:

    After the boundary vote LAB gets tighter on the #GE2015 markets while CON eases

    best odds LAB Maj 5/4

    NOM 7/4

    Stan James CON Maj 4/1

  18. I wonder if the word ” bas***ds” will become more popular in HoC-like it used to be once upon a time ?

  19. Already is with me.

  20. TOH
    “Fascinating spat going on in France over Hollande’s policies. Employment Minister says they’ve gone bankrupt!”

    Do you still have stage coaches in your neck of the woods? I posted that yesterday on the last thread in a discussion with Colin!!
    It probably got lost in all the other nonsense going on.

  21. “Bob Servant Independent” on BBC4 very funny on local politics

  22. I hope Labour win next time and increase the number of MPs to 800.

    More representation, obviously more democratic!

  23. I don’t understand earlier postings. Nick Clegg made it very clear after Con back benchers voted down Lords reform, that he considered that part of the agreement had been welshed on and therefore the LDs would not support boundary changes. That was ages ago. Some short memories it would seem DC’s only hope was that the nationalists would join him on the issue.

  24. Congrats to Labour for winning the vote on boundary changes.

    As I’ve said previously, ‘ve always though an independunt boundary commission who report every 5 years on population numbers (rather than the electoral register) is the best way forward (with equalised constituencies but the current number of MPs i.e. 650). Political parties should not be able to decide the electoral boundaries/system that we fight under imo. It should always be decided by an independent organisation rather than polictal parties like the boundaries commission.

    I’d like to also take this opportunity to really apologise to Paul Crfot and CrossBat1 for my past transgressions/disputes. I must admit, I have on occasion, too easily taken offence when a mere difference of opinion was inferred (and they merely disagreed with my opinions). I admit I can be far too sensitive, probably owing to the fact I have Asperger’s Syndrime and find it really hard to understand people very well anyway, especially over the Internet where people’s intentions and emotions are especially hard to read. Anyway, I am extremely sorry (in my current drunken state).

    Re: MIM,

    I must admit I have suffered from my fair share of depression and mental health issues myself. I suffered from depression during uni, and if truth bve told, I am currently going through a difficult time. Not saying that excuses my misreadings of peopelk’s posting or intentions, but I have found it very hard. I have found it hard that I am 31 in October and I am still unemployed….I desperately want a job and a normal life, but I have always found it hard to get either. It;s like I have always existed in my own bubble, even if I do have a few really great friennds who I love very much. Anyway, probably enough talking now.

  25. I hear that France’s Employment Minister says they’ve gone bankrupt [“en faillite” is what he actualy said.]


  26. @PaulCroft

    I keep meaning to watch it, but I keep not being bothered and that. Apparently it has a good pedigreeand its radio precursor, the “Bob Servant Emails” is still available on iPlayer.


  27. “I hear that France’s Employment Minister says they’ve gone bankrupt”

    I heard that too. Sad if it’s true.

  28. AmbivalentSupporter

    If asked I would have said that this was completely the wrong place for such a cri de coeur but it was a v touching post indeed &, if it makes you feel better, it was well worth writing – & reading. As you say posts are like texts — a very flat medium – and easily misintepreted.

    Your drunken state presumably explains all the typos, but you did manage to get the many apostrophes in the right place — congratulations.

    I also agree with what you said about boundary changes.

  29. Ambi


    Not ony do you have nothing to apologise for from earlier I even forgive this spelling of my name.


    Keeping an eye on Villa’s comeback for the sports bulletin later…………….. fingers crossed fro CB11


    Sorry to hear of your current problems…You are loved here too,especially as a swing voter.

  31. I think it’s disappointing that the boundary changes failed. I don’t care so much for numbers, whether there’s 600 or 650 is really no big deal to me. But I thought the rule regarding equal sized constituencies would have been common sense.

    Similar to how it was wrong for MP’s to be voting on their own pay and pensions, it’s equally wrong for MP’s to have control over the boundaries, it should be left to any independent body, not partisan horse trading.

  32. @Ambi

    Dude! 31! I have suits older than that! (pause. Thinks. Damn, yes I have…:-)

    I know you feel old and middle aged, but trust me: you are at the beginning of your disasters.You have many glorious f***ups still to go. You still have your teeth and hair, your knees and eyes still work, and you (probably) haven’t buried a parent yet. So here is a list of stuff that even an early-30’s Aspie with no cash can still do

    1) Learn to type and shorthand. My number 1 jobskill regret this is. It’s easy to do and you can get temp work anywhere, and, if you put the hours in, can make quite the decent living. Get a nice suit, a nice haircut and a friendly manner and you’re made.

    2) If you can afford it, learn to drive. Late-night delivery vans are always looking for drivers and it’s a relative doss, tho’ the hours they do suck most mightily. Avoid taxi driving: it’s genuinely difficult and not something I think you could do

    3) Work on the cruise ships. They’re not that fussy, it’s tax free, and your accommodation’s paid.

    4) If you have a science bachelor’s degree, go do a master’s. About 5-10% of master’s students are fully funded (course fees + maintenance grant) by one of the Research Councils, and the early applicants get the nominations. You’ll have to hurry (it’s January already) but it’s still doable.

    None of these things will fix your life, *but* they will fund and occupy you for a year and enable you to subconsciously work out what it is you want to do.

    Hope that helps, rgdsm

  33. Martyn

    I take your advice on board (you recomended learning to drive, buying a house and getting a pension, last 2 a bit young for but am booking my theory soon)

    I read your post to Ambi, point 4 “If you have a science bachelor’s degree, go do a master’s. About 5-10% of master’s students are fully funded (course fees + maintenance grant) by one of the Research Councils, ”

    Can you just clarify for me, when you say Science Bachelor’s degree, do you mean any degree that starts with Bsc, for example Bsc Maths, Bsc Economics, or do you mean “science” degrees ie only Biology, Medicince, Chem, Physics etc?

  34. @SMukesh – “You are loved here too,especially as a swing voter.”

    Shame on you for ‘love-bombing’ our friend :)

  35. @MitM

    Yep, Maths would be fine. Even if you have one like economics or computer science – from memory, the computery ones would be EPSRC, the economics ones would be ESRC (see here for the acronyms).

    If you are thinking of this, you have to be fast (the defacto deadline is about March), the numbers are limited, and I assume things are tighter since 2010. But if it doesn’t work, you can try for academic year 2014/5.

    If you have a specific discipline and degree in mind, the university can advise you better than I.


  36. Suspect it all adds to Nick Clegg’s reputation as a man you wouldn’t like to have to depend on to save your life.

  37. CB!!

    Sorry about that result

    I’ve supported Arsenal for over forty years via TV.

    I’ve seen them live four times when they were winning tites etc but NEVER seen them win. drew at sunderland, newcastle, at highbury v ajax and – worst of all – THE match against spurs when we led 4-2, should have been 7, at the emirates, and spurs scored two goal in the last two mins under ‘Arry.

  38. @MiM

    Well, the whole rational for today’s amendment to the electoral registration bill is that the final processes of change to individual registration raised problems with allocation based on electoral roll size. As the current legislation stands, the allocations are not based on population, or number of constituents an MP would represent, but on those registered to vote *at the time of the allocation*. Considering that the legislation being considered would substantially change those rolls, it was considered dangerous by the lords to continue with the apportionment process based on registration numbers they both knew to be inaccurate, and that were going to undergo drastic changes.

    There were plenty of comments made during debate in support of instead allocating on basis of population taken by census.

  39. Martyn

    It’s a long way off for me yet. I’ve not even got a Bsc yet, as I had to quit Uni as I couldn’t afford it because my dad was made redundant and my mum had her hours cut.

    I’m planning on staying in my current job, which is good money 19k gross, until September 2014, by which time hopefully I’d have saved enough money to be able to afford Uni.

    I’d aim to do a Bsc Economics, which is why I was asking about that research council sponsorship as I’d love to go on to do a masters after, but that’s about another 30k which I think is direct (no student loan etc) so there’s no way I’d be able to afford to do a masters without sponsorship.

  40. @BILLY BOB

    When I canvass,people usually vote for the other side.It would be interesting to see whether *Ambivalent* loses his ambivalence in 2015.

  41. @Jay

    So similar to the system in the US, where the census, in 2000 shaped the congressional seat and electoral college allocation up until 2010, and then the 2010 census, reallocated them and remains in effect until 2020?

    Wouldn’t that mean by the end of the decade the seats would start to become uneven again as population will likely move around greatly in those 10 years?

    Personally, I’ve always wondered why the census’ aren’t more frequent, say 5 years? If you did them before an election, (obviously it’d be a couple of months) you could have the general election fought on accurate numbers, as well as give the incoming government a useful tool to know how to allocate resources.

    hopefully whatever our system we continue to use an independent body such as the Electoral Commision deciding how to draw the boundaries rather than partisan governors as in the US.

  42. Gary Gibbon reports that Cameron did offer DUP to reduce the number of MPs to 602, thus exempting NI from the boundary review. “I understand that for the avoidance of doubt Nick Clegg made contact with the DUP himself yesterday to spell out in clear terms that his party would not support such an arrangement.”


    As it turned out a difference of 16 votes would not have changed the outcome.

  43. @NICKP
    I hope Labour win next time and increase the number of MPs to 800.
    More representation, obviously more democratic!
    January 29th, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    I think I once read that Bradford has more councillors than the equivalent public servants in New York. Says all you need to know about the ridiculous size of the State in this country.

  44. Question for the geeks:

    Is there an accepted (estimated) percentage of UKIP VI that will shift to Conservative for a General Election, and if so, what is it (approximately)?

    Also bear in mind the recent UKIP rises and falls.

  45. @MitM

    Damn, but it’s difficult for kids these days. But you know that already.

    Firstly, the research councils don’t fund undergraduates, so that’s not an avenue for you just yet.

    So what can you get? Let’s have a look…As your medium term ambition is to get an Economics degree, may I suggest the Open University? Revising for a course and holding down a full-time job is staggeringly b****y difficult, but it may bring it into the set of things you can reasonably afford, and there is some funding (see here) available for those earning <25K (see the "Access to Success" route).


  46. Billy Bob
    I suppose when we see the details, I may be proven wrong, but I never had the idea that the Cons were serious about winning this vote.

  47. Any polls tonight?

  48. It’s not so much funding the undergrad that’s a problem (anymore)

    The application deadline for 2013 start has passed, so the earliest I can start is 2014, which by then I’ll have 2 years of wages saved up. I pay my parents £400 a month to cover my living costs and help them out a bit, so once you take out tax etc, it’s just under 1k a month which I’m saving, then in 2014, I’ll just need to split that amount over 3 years for an undergrad.

    After that I can look into these research councils to see if they will sponsor me.

    The problem with things like the Open University (for now at least) is snobbery from employers who regard it with contempt, my aunt did a maths degree through Open University and she still couldn’t get any jobs and one of the interviews she got too, they hinted that they didnt consider an Open Uni degree as an actual degree, and compared it to “General Studies A level”, you’d think being able to work full time and study for a degree (and get a 1st as she did) would count in your favour, but sadly the label of “Open University” goes against you. She’s now doing an extra year PGCE to become a teacher, as hopefully schools won’t have that same level of snobbery.

  49. @MitM, if only it was still the Blair years, you could jump from degree to degree until you settled on something you fancied, don’t worry about the cost too.

    Ok this is a joke guys… So is there a poll tonight?

  50. Richo

    It was Blair who introduced tuition fees wasn’t it? Before that it was free.

    Similar to my conundrum over the economy (choice between the guys who caused the mess, or the guys who made them worse) the same is true for education (choice between the guys who introduced tuition fees, or the guys who increased them 3 fold)

    Partly why I personally have extra contempt for the lib dems, it’s one thing to put up fees, but to say you will scrap them completely, but instead make them 3x worse, is just a real kick in the teeth

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