This is the third in a series of posts on the boundary review. There is a general overview of what is happening and why it’s controversial here, a summary of what the effects are and some of MPs who are losing their seats here. This final post has the full, seat-by-seat, estimates of how the votes cast at the last general election would have fallen out on the new boundaries in England and Wales.

Full notional results for England and Wales.

The changes in England and Wales result in the Conservatives losing 10 seats, Labour losing 28 seats, the Liberal Democrats losing 4 and the Greens losing Brighton Pavilion (though notional calculations like these risk underestimating the performance of parties with isolated pockets of support like the Greens and Lib Dems, so it may not hit them as hard as these suggest). The Scottish boundary commission don’t report until next month, but for obvious reasons the Conservatives and Labour can only lose a maximum of one seat each there, meaning that on these boundaries the Conservatives would have had a majority of around 40 at the last election.

The usual caveats I give for notional results apply – this is an accounting exercise, estimating what the ward level vote within each constituency would have been in 2015 (basing the distribution on the distribution at local elections) then reallocating the wards to their new constituencies and adding them back up again. If there is a radically different pattern of support in an area at local and national elections the figures might be misleading, if there are loads of independent candidates in any area (as in rural Wales, North Yorkshire or Cornwall) then the figures won’t be that accurate. If you know an area really well and you think the projections are wrong, then you are probably correct… but hopefully any such errors cancel out.

And a final caveat – this is purely a prediction of how the votes would have fallen out if the votes at the last election were counted on the new boundaries. They are certainly NOT a prediction of what would happen at the next election.


743 Responses to “Notional results for provisional English and Welsh boundaries”

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  1. Robert

    How much were they paid for that assessment? Moody’s have form for selling good ratings. They could well be right but I wouldn’t trust a word they say

  2. ROBERT NEWARK

    Yes Robert, a number of other commentators have made the same point. It’s only people with an axe to grind who see it as a tremendous threat.

  3. PROFHOWARD
    I missed the bit at the end about how international treaties trump advisory referenda.

    The discussion was pretty short but possibly not decisive given that A50 is itself part of the Lisbon Treaty. I can’t find any reference to the Belfast Agreement in the Lisbon Treaty, so presumably the then Lab government just forgot to mention it. That alone would give May a little wriggle room in being able to blame Brown as well as Cameron for the mess they left behind them.

  4. ALAN, PETER CAIRNS (SNP), EDGE OF SEAT & SOMERJOHN
    Re withdrawal of A50, See the Indy’s Article 50 was never actually meant to be used, says its author which includes:
    Giuliano Amato said the clause had specifically been inserted to placate the British and The process of invoking Article 50 is said to be irreversible.

    However, Business Insider’s There’s a loophole in Article 50 that lets Britain back into the EU whenever we want finds 2 eminent QCs stating:
    It is absolutely clear that you cannot be forced to go through with it if you do not want to: for example, if there is a change of Government.
    and
    There is nothing in the wording to say that you cannot. It is in accord with the general aims of the Treaties that people stay in rather than rush out of the exit door. There is also the specific provision in Article 50 to the effect that, if a State withdraws, it has to apply to rejoin de novo. That only applies once you have left. If you could not change your mind after a year of thinking about it, but before you had withdrawn, you would then have to wait another year, withdraw and then apply to join again. That just does not make sense. Analysis of the text suggests that you are entitled to change your mind.

    I’d go with the QCs myself.

    Of more relevance [or at least for some diverting entertainment] pre-Brexit, Belfast Agreement issues are likely to be raised, even if the action to prevent A50 being triggered without the consent of parliament fails. I could see requiring prior consent of the NI people being an issue which went right up to, of all places, the ECJ. Logically, that should happen even if NMG seeks full EEA, because there is no guarantee that an EEA application will be accepted.

  5. HMG not NMG in my previous post.

  6. Of course, before we even get to Belfast Agreement issues, the competence of HMG to use the royal pregrogative is relevant.

    The UK Constitutional Law Association’s Pulling the Article 50 ‘Trigger’: Parliament’s Indispensable Role is a good summary of the issues and concludes with:
    Brexit is the most important decision that has faced the United Kingdom in a generation and it has massive constitutional and economic ramifications. In our constitution, Parliament gets to make this decision, not the Prime Minister.

    Also relevant is Brexit Law’s Government says No Parliamentary Vote Before Triggering Article 50, which links to the 2 legal challenges so far. The “plain” A50 challenge is due before the Lord Chief Justice on 2016-10-15, with the expectation that it will be heard by the UK Supreme Court in December. No date for the Belfast challenge seems to have been set as yet.

    Whatever happens to the challenges, it looks like Brexit is going to be another gold mine for lawyers!

  7. Good evening all from a warm Itchen Valley in the heart of rural Hampshire.

    BARBAZENZERO..

    I’m actually concerned about all the legal challenges regarding Brexit and the amount of obstacles people are trying to put up to stop Brexit from happening.

    One can only presume the same shoddy tactics will be deployed if Scotland votes for independence….Food for thought!!

  8. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    Don’t worry Alan I will be amazed if Brexit does not go ahead. I think there continues to be a long of wishful thinking and moaning from extremist Remainers.

  9. should have read …………..a lot of wishful thinking………

  10. I don’t understand why Brexiteers are so against there being a second referendum once all the details have been sorted out. Surely once voters see all the advantages of Brexit in black and white, they will have no hesitation in voting a resounding yes.
    What are you guys frightened of ?

  11. THE OTHER HOWARD

    I tend to agree with Howard, I’m just at odds with the amount of re-moaning from the remoaners. They put Richard Wilson to shame. ;-)

    The thing is, before the polls closed we all accepted the result was going to be close and most thought remain would win even right up until 2:30am on polling night. The remain side thought they had it in the bag and the champagne was almost bubbling over until Newcastle hinted at what was to come then Sunderland confirmed the inevitable.

    It’s because of the sheer complacency and brass necks from the remain side who were sure they would win the EU referendum we are now seeing nothing but sour grapes from them….They should just get over it..

  12. VALERIE

    Why should there be a second vote? The verdict was unanimous and provincial England and Wales booted the proverbial metropolitan elite in the balls. :-)

  13. @The Other Howard

    Agreed.

    A poll was conducted a couple weeks after the referendum that had 30% of Remain voters accepting the vote and agreeing that Brexit must be enacted.

    That would put 2/3 of those that voted wanting the democratic mandate of the people to be carried out. I imagine that will only have increased since then as many people are likely to have calmed down and are, in their hearts, democrats.

    Anybody following the US Election? Interesting times…

  14. TOH,

    You are of course making the assumption that those looking at any potential block on Brexit don’t want it.

    Almost every day one of the pro Brexit papers runs some sensational story oranother about the political elite or the evil European Commission plotting to thwart the will of the British people.

    most of it’s nonsense but it’s bread and butter that the readers of the Telegraph, Mail and Sun can’t seem to get enough of so they keep feeding them it.

    For the tabliods the EU is the gift that keeps giving’ a sort of super national equivelent of the supernatural Princess Diana!

    in Scotland the equivelent is the way that Davidson and Dugdale talk more about the SNP’s “Obsession with Independence” more than the SNP talk about Independence.

    Peter.

  15. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    Interesting definition of unanimous you have there.

  16. Valerie

    “Surely once voters see all the advantages of Brexit in black and white, they will have no hesitation in voting a resounding yes.”

    No point in having one then is there. :-)

    To be serious it’s simple. We voted to leave, so we should leave, that’s the democratic will of the people. There is no reason for another referendum on membership of the EU particularly since holding the recent referendum had the full support of Parliament and the result was clear.

    Mrs May seems to clearly agree with that view given her statements on the issue.

    Once we have left, if there is a change of government and a government is elected on a platform to have a referendum to rejoin the Eu then of course there can be a new referendum.

  17. PETER CAIRNS (SNP)

    Not making any assumptions Peter, I just do not expect it to be blocked.

  18. @VALERIE

    As David Davis pointed out in the house. Parliament had a vote on the EU. In that vote they gave the decision to the British people on whether to stay or leave.

    We are leaving. It’s up to the government – not Parliament – to negotiate that exit.

    It will be up to the people at the next general election to decide wether they give the Government their approval on the terms of the exit or punish them.

    That’s why Brexit will be enforced.

  19. ALLAN CHRISTIE
    I’m actually concerned about all the legal challenges regarding Brexit and the amount of obstacles people are trying to put up to stop Brexit from happening.

    & THE OTHER HOWARD
    should have read …………..a lot of wishful thinking

    TOH may prove to be right re legal challenges, but you can hardly blame people for complaining that the referendum was voted through without any thought of the consequences. Had the outers presented a coherent exit scenario that might have mattered less, but they didn’t. Did any of them read the Belfast Agreement? That’s a rhetorical question, btw, as NI’s DUP government certainly didn’t – hence their apparent U-turn on Brexit.

    As I pointed out above, Lab [when Brown was PM] must take some share of the blame, since A50 was written at their sole request and should have included a mechanism to comply with the provisions in their own Belfast Agreement.

    As I suggested above, the legal profession is bound to be rubbing its collective hands just now, funded by the taxes of us all.

  20. Barbazenzero

    It’s one way to stimulate the economy I guess!

  21. The Other Howard

    Worth keeping in mind that the referendum has advisory status only; if it turns out there are snags with the idea when looked at more closely then the advice need not be put into effect by the government.

  22. Sorry folks I am just not buying the “Remoaners” boggy man.

    Take away the political positioning of the LibDems and Owen Smith and commentators in the likes of the Guardian clutching at straws just to fill column inches and I can hardly find any Remain supporters calling for a rerun or second referendum.

    Almost universally on this site those like me who voted to remain have said, “Tell us what you want, invoke A50 and get it done”.

    Equally as I said above we are getting as much if not more near paranoid headlines from the pro leave papers about the “Baddies” plotting to reverse the People Choice.

    It’s almost as if the Brexiteers need to have an Enemy to rail against, first the EU itself, then Cameron and the Pro EU Westminster Elite and now the Remoaners.

    It really is Reds under the Beds stuff…..what next setting up an Unbrexit Activities Committee!

    Peter.

  23. @PROFHOWARD

    This advisory status that people like to play up betrays a lack of understanding of our Constitution.

    All referendums are advisory. No referendum could be enforced on a Government against its wishes. If a referendum was given the force of law a government could simply put an Act before Parliament to set it aside.

    Granted it would put an extra hurdle in front of the Government. But that’s all it would be.

    No Parliament (including a sitting Parliament) can be found by a past Parliament (including the very same Parliament).

    From a political perspective: the idea that the British people consider it advisory (when the Government stated it would follow the will of the people – and Parliament voted for it with almost unanimity) would be ludicrously naive.

    “A Very Courageous Policy, Minister!”

  24. Catmanjeff
    ‘The Tories won a majority in 2015 with 11.3m votes, Labour with 9.5m in 2005 and with 10.7m in 2001.

    I’m not sure Labour needs 12m votes to win.’

    Maybe not 12 million votes but both 2001 and 2005 were very low turnout General Elections.

  25. found = bound above

  26. Valerie

    Its not just the brexiters that are against a second referendum, public opinion is also against if I’m remembering the polling correctly. For years we have laughed at various European countries having to hold referendum after referendum until they get the “right” answer. There is no appetite for a similar process in this country at the present time. There may be at some point in the future but I suspect that incessant talk now about a second referendum will only harden attitudes against it. Bremainers will have to wait for the mood of the country to swing round to them before demanding a second ref

  27. @CAMBRIDGERACHEL

    Indeed. I’ve penciled in 2057 for them in the calendar.

  28. SEA CHANGE @VALERIE
    It’s up to the government – not Parliament – to negotiate that exit.

    Having been in the EU and its forerunners for 40+ years, why do you expect to unravel the UK’s membership of it in such a hurry?

    You are almost certainly right that the UK government can negotiate the exit, but do you have evidence that they have the authority to trigger A50? If so, I suggest you write to your MP with that evidence so that s/he can inform HMG.

    Absent that, we’ll probably get to know by the end of the year, when invocation of A50 by royal prerogative [unsupported by statute!] will be allowed or whether parliament must approve. It could of course then go to the ECJ for further consideration, which would be fun to watch, to put it mildly.

    ALAN
    It’s one way to stimulate the economy I guess! ;<)}

  29. Sea Change

    I am inclined to the view that the difference between an advisory and a mandatory referendum is substantive.

  30. SEA CHANGE @PROFHOWARD
    A Very Courageous Policy, Minister!

    Spot on, and indicative of the problem May faces. Cameron – presumably thanks to unwarranted hubris – allowed the act which created the referendum to be so poorly written that lawyers will be praising him for generations. That he would not listen to suggestions that there should be national locks and appointed nobody to examine the consequences of pre-existing treaty commitments can only be reviewed after the event.

    What would you suggest May should do if or when the people of NI refuse to accept hard borders, as they are entitled to under the Belfast Agreement?

    Of course, the concerns of NI, Scotland & Gibraltar could be solved easily by giving them FFA and approving a Hong Kong style solution but do you think she [or the treasury] will?

  31. Prof Howard

    Thanks for the link to the excellent Mount Stewart discussion.

    CR

    “There is no appetite for a similar process in this country at the present time.”

    That’s true – if you are thinking of England s “this country” (c/f the discussion at Mount Stewart”) :-)

    But the recent Sunday Times poll (contrary to their misleading headline) showed that 54% in Scotland want an indyref2 during the next few years.

  32. OLDNAT
    54% in Scotland want an indyref2 during the next few years.

    If the A50 trigger goes to the ECJ you might need to replace years with decades, there!

  33. Valerie – “I don’t understand why Brexiteers are so against there being a second referendum once all the details have been sorted out.”

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a general election was called on the back of it.

    I see the process going as follows:

    Theresa May triggers Article 50 (once all the court cases etc are out of the way and she has a plan of what she wants to negotiate). This is likely to be Feb 2017.

    Then follows two years negotiations. The minor stuff will be done prior to the French and German elections in May 2017 and Aug-Oct 2017 respectively. The major stuff will be negotiated with whoever wins those elections.

    Once she has a deal, she asks parliament to vote to dissolve – she needs 2/3rds of MPs to vote to dissolve, but I understand Corbyn says he will instruct his MPs to vote with the govt on this.

    And then the terms are put to the public, with the Conservatives defending the deal just negotiated and presumably the opposition parties opposing.

    If the public returns Conservatives, then they have assented and Parliament then votes the deal through.

    So if she can get a deal by 2019, that’s when the election will be. There is no reason to drag things out another year.

  34. @BARBAZENZERO

    Our constitution is clear. Signing or cancelling treaties and foreign affairs are exercised by the government on behalf of the sovereign.

    This area is not the preserve of Parliament.

    The interesting conundrum is actually the 1972 European Communities Act, that will need to be repealed after we exit. There Parliament has a say.

    Again it will only be very courageous MPs who vote against that happening except perhaps those who are retiring and want to make a statement for their memoirs.

    ——–

    “It could of course then go to the ECJ for further consideration, which would be fun to watch, to put it mildly.”

    – The government could pull out of the ECJ using Royal Prerogative powers if any such shenanigans to usurp the referendum were attempted.

  35. Seachange

    “Our constitution is clear” – as mud?

  36. PROFHOWARD

    I am sure that the Prime Minister is aware of snags of the sort you have been discussing but it seems quite clear that she is fully committed to leaving the EU and taking back control of our borders.

  37. SEA CHANGE

    “It will be up to the people at the next general election to decide wether they give the Government their approval on the terms of the exit or punish them.
    That’s why Brexit will be enforced.”

    Exactly so.

  38. SEA CHANGE
    Our constitution is clear. Signing or cancelling treaties and foreign affairs are exercised by the government on behalf of the sovereign.

    The “English” constitution [as Bagehot so mindlessly put it] is far from clear, which is why all those QCs I mentioned are rubbing their hands with glee.

    Also the royal prerogative has no statutory basis. Precedent has allowed PMs to use it on issues for which they have parliamentary majorities but this has not been tested lately. If May has a majority in the HoC it would cost her nothing to hold a vote on it. A bit like Holmes’ dog in the night-time, perhaps?

    We’ll see within a few months what the courts thinks. But do bear in mind that the EU will have to be satisfied that the A50 is “constitutional”, so they might go to the the ECJ even if the UK courts rule it OK.

    If the Belfast Agreement is by-passed, don’t you think that the RoI might veto the process on constitutional grounds, particularly as even the NI unionists are now against hard borders?

  39. The British Constitution is based on common law and precedent. The Royal Prerogative is well over 1000 years old. It has been curtailed by various means, Magna Carta, Bill of Rights etc. Until the powers it still has are further curtailed, A50 can be enacted by the PM in concert with her Cabinet.

    No court case (after appeal) has ever blocked the use of the Royal Prerogative.

    The Ireland question:

    Perhaps we will see a hard border between N.I and the rest of the UK, as a stepping stone to the reunification of Ireland. The orangemen might turn red at that suggestion, granted.

    I personally would like to see a Federation of Great Britain & Ireland. Shared history, shared language, common cultures, very intertwined economies.

  40. Barbazenzero – “If the Belfast Agreement is by-passed, don’t you think that the RoI might veto the process on constitutional grounds, particularly as even the NI unionists are now against hard borders?”

    Well if a hard border is imposed, will be because the EU insisted with the consent of the RoI. In which case they could hardly complain about a hard border that they are insisting on having as members of the EU!

    They could trigger a border poll – but it is clear that the majority in NI would vote to stay with the UK come what may. NI’s deficit is slightly worse than Scotland’s (though NI has more excuse for it).

    They simply can’t afford to have tantrums, and the RoI can’t afford it either, especially given their whole business model is under direct attack from the EU,

    On the subject of the RoI business model being under attack – if the Irish govt doesn’t win it’s court case against the EU, expect to see the Silicon Valley lot mobilise to get RoI to leave as well, to protect their global non-EU earnings that are parked in Ireland. If they leave too, there’ll be a nice cozy agreement between the UK and RoI.

    Attacking Ireland at the same time Brexit is happening just illustrates how the EU has completely lost the plot.

  41. New thread – on Anthony having a birthday (and other matters).

  42. CANDY
    Well if a hard border is imposed, will be because the EU insisted with the consent of the RoI

    You have the cart before the horse there. The Belfast Agreement was signed by HMG and gives a number of rights to the citizens of NI including it would be wrong to make any change in the status of Northern Ireland save with the consent of a majority of its people.

    The RoI has no intention or desire to make any changes in that respect. If EEA membership is the May solution, then the changes would be minimal and probably accepted across the island.

    But if that’s not what is being negotiated then May will have to renounce the Belfast Agreement or obtain the consent of the people of NI in an NI-only referendum. That’s the point where the UK stand to lose any support from the RoI and the other 26, and when the ECJ may be asked to consider the A50’s constitutional validity.

    They could trigger a border poll
    The 2nd referendum needed would be a real “border” poll, but not in the Belfast Agreement sense, which involves both sides voting.

  43. Brilliant but I do have a mystery and a possible problem ahead. I have read all of the 700+ comments and if what I have picked up has been mentioned I apologise.

    When I saw all the figures for England and Wales I went to the BBC website showing all the figures for the 2015 GE. I noticed that according to the BBC there were more than 41m voters in England and Wales in May 2015 the total is now down to 39.5m. This time as we all know the Boundary Commissioners have to to work on high and low figures fro each seat (with a few exceptions). If people don’t register until it is time to vote then the entire quality theory falls apart.

    Again using the BBC Election Night figures the Conservatives now have 37k more votes but all of the other parties are more or less the same.

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