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. CAMBRIDGERACHEL

    I think your last post on the previous thread was spot on. I really expect this to get through the Commons. The Paliament act should deal with any resistance in the Lords.

  2. Parliament Act doesn’t apply to secondary legislation.

  3. It’ll be interesting to see if the Lords want to go all out war with the Commons over this. It was in the manifesto so conventions SHOULD hold.

    If they declare war, I can see a Commons driven set of Lords reform being imposed on the Lords after 2020 (including a popular reduction of the number of sitting Lords). Once the conventions that has allowed parliament to function over the last 100 years or so are torn up, legislation is needed to express the remit of the Lords explicitly. Plus it’s the only way to reduce the size of the Lords significantly.

  4. One interesting observation – I’ve seen it suggested that there would be less marginals under the new boundaries. In fact it turns out there is little difference. So the majority in the 50th most marginal Tory seat is currently 9.4% and would be the same under the new boundaries. The 32nd most marginal is the seat that loses them their majority (if you put DUP and UKIP on the Tory side). The majority is now 6.5% and would be 6.8% under the new boundaries. The 20th most marginal Tory seat becomes a bit less marginal – 3.3% now and 4.4% with the new boundaries.

    All academic given the polls now but who knows?

  5. Out of interest how do people think that parties like the DUP are likely to vote on the issue?

    In addition on what grounds are the SNP going to vote against the proposals?

  6. Thanks AW.

  7. It’s not difficult to see why Scottish MPs might vote against the proposals. They reduce Scottish representation in the HoC and so increase English dominance of the union. Two of the home nations are currently feeling pretty sore about English dominance of the union as it means they’re being dragged out of the EU against their will. Against this background I’d expect all the smaller home nations to be particularly sensitive to the damage these proposals will do to their interests.

  8. ED G

    Out of interest how do people think that parties like the DUP are likely to vote on the issue?

    In addition on what grounds are the SNP going to vote against the proposals?

    Both will probably be opposed on the grounds that it will reduce the number of MPs for their country. Both opposed the first revision along these lines in 2013 and I can’t see anything different happening this time:

    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-01-29&number=146

  9. I think that with the exception of the Republicans the northern Irish MPs can be relied on to vote against anything which reduces the representation of Northern Ireland in the HoC, it might only be one seat but I’d expect them to fight tooth and nail for it. The SNP would need an excuse, the most logical position for them to take would be abstaining but I don’t think that will happen

  10. I think SNP opposition is a given. DUP may support the government but they’ll expect a pound of flesh somewhere in return I think.

    It all really comes down to Tory rebels. I suspect there are quite a few Tory MPs who are opposed for various reasons, but party management may be able to get them to go along with it.

  11. Roger Mexico

    Interestingly NI (now with 17 seat as opposed to 16 in the original set of drawings) actually has a greater percentage of representation, 17/600 > 18/650

    Scotland’s fraction of representation changes very little, it’s Wales where the changes are most obvious.

  12. Ed G

    I probably should have added that, although the Boundary Commissions for each country release their findings and operate separately, all the UK proposals will have to be dealt with together because of the overall reduction in numbers of MPs.

  13. Sorbus I’m quite sure the SNP will vote against the proposal – my question was on what grounds they’ll try and justify this? As Alan has pointed out it affects their representation in the HoC (as a %) very little.

  14. @Ed G

    They don’t have to have any grand reasons. They will just say that the country faces many complex political challenges and there’s no sense in reducing the amount of representation the people have.

    It won’t necessarily be all that logical (especially given how the SNP basically present Westminster MPs as having no function whatsoever) but party politics only requires something you can parrot in TV interviews, not some compelling coherent, consistent logic.

  15. Ed G

    Their normal reasoning is “It’s a Tooory policy”

  16. Alan

    Indeed, it’s because NI got their IER problems out of the way a long time ago. But 17 is still less than 18 and they’d rather avoid all that disruption even if it does mean slightly lower degree of notional influence.

    And the proposals for for Northern Ireland have already been published and look likely to benefit Sinn Fein and maybe Alliance most

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-politics-37280113

    So the DUP will not back them unless they can be adjusted to give them gains not losses

  17. Alan

    Thats not an argument that conservative Rebels could make! What would be their excuse apart from naked self interest

  18. CR

    That’s a job for the whips to sort out. I’m sure the “No member left behind” policy will mitigate this somewhat.

    Will Labour suddenly become a homogeneous block or will we see enough not turning up to vote to make MPs like Tristram Hunt sweat a bit?

  19. A sensible compromise would be to do the boundary exercise again, but use the electoral figures from after June this year rather than last December. Doing so would remove most of the reasonable objections. Is there time before the election, though, to get everything through?

    As for the SNP – their MPs purpose in the HoC is to demonstrate that Scotland cannot decide their own destiny under the current system. The more things they vote against and lose, the better it looks from their point of view. They will do whatever they can to enhance that impression.

  20. Sorrel

    I doubt that would get Labour onside, as AW mentioned, it’s in Labour’s interest to delay reviews as long as possible. They would simply find another reason.

    Once you move to the 2025 election, that will be done on the 2021 figures anyway which will be using the latest figures. If Labour can get away with it, they would kick the review to 2030 or beyond.

  21. There’s a fair chance that May will quietly drop these proposals I’d have thought.

    What kind of swing would Labour require to get an OM of 1 at the next election? As unlikely as that seems with present polling!

  22. @THE OTHER HOWARD

    “Not a Boomer myself so still waiting.”

    ——-

    It’s ok, I don’t think you were barred from the era of close-to-full employment, much cheaper housing and the housing subsidies of the Eighties, privatisation and mutual sell-offs, Uni grants and cheap OU degrees, the nice pensions, and even now the good stuff keeps on coming….

    Today in the Times, wondering about the Autumn Statement being an indicator as to whether Theresa’s economic policy is going to continue “to deliver for,the privivleged few” or ditch that in favour of the Meritocracy thing. In particular, they note the resumption of cutting interest rates and the asset buying programme, which favours those with assets, property, shares and bonds etc., “which have soared in value as a direct result of central bank stimulus”.

    And obviously a fair few oldies have accrued such assets owing to benevolent government policy over the years, and now they get help stoking their value… A few might even tell themselves it’s their own leet investment skillz!!…

    Now, what’s especially interesting and important here, is that this renewed Central Bank action might be viewed as irresponsible, owing to the build up of inflationary pressures owing to Brexit and the fall of the pound, plus the rise in oil price.

    Can you see where this is going?

    See, this renewed Stimulus was to stave off recession. But if things worsen and we do fall into recession, alongside inflationary pressures, such Stimuli will be off limits as being inflationary, reducing the room for manoeuvre. That’s right, we could be heading back to the stagflationary capers of the Seventies and Early Eighties again!!

    Apols to Alec for encroaching on his territory regarding economic warnings, but it seemed a bit ironic this time…

  23. Ed G

    Even a small percentage reduction is a change in the wrong direction from Scotland’s perspective. I suspect the SNP would argue that any constitutional changes should give Scotland a stronger rather than a weaker voice in affairs reserved to Westminster.

    Reduction in non-English influence in the union generally might be used as an argument for further dismantling. It’s possible that the SNP will focus on the overall reduction in influence of smaller nations, rather than the specific effect on Scottish representation, but others are much better qualified than me to comment on SNP thinking.

  24. Shelts – funnily enough she can’t. The boundary commissions are required by law to deliver the reviews, and the government are required by law to put the legislation before the House to implement them.

    Going back to the 1969 review I mentioned in the first post, when Labour were trying to avoid implementing the 2nd review, Ross Mcwhirter (the twin brother of Norris McWhirter from Record Breakers, later assassinated by the IRA) took Jim Callaghan to court to get a writ of mandamus *forcing* him to implement the boundaries.

    At that point Callaghan said he would comply with his legal duty to put the legislation before the house (avoiding the writ), but asked Labour MPs to vote it down (the law requires the government to put the legislation before the House, but not to vote in favour of it).

    Essentially, there isn’t any way for this to be kicked into the long grass – sooner or later there *will* be a vote, though the government would obviously be free not to make a fuss about it and let MPs defeat it if they wanted

  25. Anthony

    “The Scottish boundary commission don’t report until next month”

    Have they made an announcement to that effect? Their website still says they expect to issue their Initial Proposals in September.

    Of course, given the geographical limit on constituency size, the Commission members might still be out with tape measures on Rannoch Moor, to see if they can split the uninhabited areas of Rannoch and Atholl ward into different constituencies to fit the requirements! :-)

  26. Carfrew

    Inflation in the 70s was caused mainly by the oil shock although the demise of the gold standard was also a factor. In the early 80s again a sharp increase in the price of oil and the doubling of VAT

  27. Carfrew

    Hit submit too soon

    We don’t have these factors at the moment so unlikely to have a repeat of stagflation

  28. CAMBRIDGERACHEL

    Thats not an argument that conservative Rebels could make! What would be their excuse apart from naked self interest

    There will be some who object on the principle of the reduction in numbers meaning that the government is held to account less (all the losses will effectively be backbenchers). I presume the four Tory rebels who voted against in 2013 did so on those grounds. Some may also be disquieted by Cameron’s foolish decision to rush IER through – particularly after the referendum showed how many more wanted to be registered.

    And the self-interest won’t be naked – it will be in terms of “How dare they rip my beloved Bogbrush South West to pieces” and couched in the language of protecting communities.

  29. Ed G

    The underlying point is that in a majoritarian system there’s a case for making special provisions to protect minority interests. More Westminster seats per head of population is one way of doing this.

    If you think that within the union there are geographical or religious or linguistic minorities whose interests might otherwise be unfairly overlooked it makes sense to put in place measures or procedures to avoid this. If you don’t, then in the worst case scenario you undermine social cohesion and the legitimacy of your electoral system.

    I’m not saying that per-head over-representation of S, W and NI at Westminster is the best way of dealing with English dominance of the union, but I do think the referendum result means people in non-English polities may be particularly sensitive to this issue at the moment.

    I doubt that the proposed Westminster boundary changes will be the last straw for our botched consititutional settlement, but they’re a straw.

  30. CR

    We do have other factors though, the sudden drop in the value of the pound will cause inflationary pressures once it sets in. There will have been a certain amount of hedging or prebuying supplies to keep prices stable but this won’t last forever.

    Certain companies haven’t been able to do this and have raised prices by about 10-15%. Eventually other companies will follow suit.

    Inflation is predicted to overshoot the 2% target, we haven’t been told by how much.

  31. @Rach

    We may not have Seventies levels of inflation, but as I said, the combination of pound falling and oil prices rising is creating inflationary pressures. This isn’t conjecture: pound has actually fallen and oil price has risen.

    But what I was getting at, was the ADDITIONAL inflationary pressure on top caused by Central Bank intervention, cutting interest rates and pumping more QE into the economy…

  32. CambridgeRachel

    While the first and second oil shock contributed significantly to the inflation,,there was an upward trend from the mid-1960s. The most-war model was in crisis.

    Fixed exchange rates, current account driven policies, protectionism and alike suppressed it to a degree.

  33. @Laszlo

    Under conditions of close to full employment, you expect inflation to be an issue, because cannot easily up production to soak up the extra demand and hence bear back down on inflation. This is an expected challenge of full employment, as opposed to a model in crisis.

  34. Sorbus

    Other than posturing from political parties, I don’t remember much great concern about the number of Scottish MPs being cut in 2005 – as is happening in Wales now.

    I suspect that the attitude of the SNP to the vote in Parliament will be much more dependent on the details of the Final SBC proposals than anything else.

    I think that, of much more importance to the SNP than the number of Scottish MPs or even the number of SNP MPs, but the distribution of those MPs among the parties in Scotland.

  35. @Laszlo

    Another reason it wasn’t a model in crisis, is that a reasonable level of inflation in the sixties was not entirely accidental: it was how we eroded our rather colossal post-war debt. Etc., while still having tow decades of rising prosperity despite the debt overhang…

  36. Summary of the 68 unchanged seats in England:

    SE: Basingstoke, Beaconsfield, Bracknell, Eastbourne, Eastleigh, East Surrey, East Worthing & Shoreham, Epsom & Ewell, Gosport, Guildford, Hastings & Rye, Maidenhead, Reigate, Sittingbourne & Sheppey, South West Surrey, Witney.

    EM: Bassetlaw, Gainsborough, High Peak, Leicester East, Leicester South, Mansfield, South Holland & The Deepings.

    NE: North Tyneside, Sunderland Central, Tynemouth.

    YH: Beverley & Holderness, East Yorkshire, Elmet and Rothwell.

    SW: Bristol North West, Bristol South, Exeter, North Devon, North Somerset, Taunton Deane, Torbay, Weston-super-Mare.

    E: Chelmsford, Epping Forest, Hitchin & Harpenden, Thurrock, Waveney, West Suffolk.

    WM: Birmingham Hodge Hill, Burton, Cannock Chase, Coventry North East, North Shropshire, South Staffordshire, Sutton Coldfield.

    NW: Blackley & Broughton, Chorley, Garston & Halewood, Knowsley, Leigh, Makerfield, Manchester Gorton, Manchester Withington, Salford & Eccles, St Helens North, St Helens South & Whiston, Wigan, Worsley & Eccles South, Wythenshawe & Sale East.

    GL: Hornchurch & Upminster, Kingston & Surbiton, Richmond Park, Twickenham.

  37. Has the latest ICM poll been mentioned?

    https://www.icmunlimited.com/polls/#listing

    The Conservatives dominate English seats in Parliament, and currently sit on a 16-point lead over Labour in England. With Scotland very much in the tight grip of the SNP and the Right making advances in Wales it is hard to see where Labour could look for comfort right now, or that much will change until the leadership contest is over.

  38. Carfrew

    When evaluating the 1960s (and up to the 1974-75 recession) one should not exclude the role of the US, and th lesson from the 1956 recession.

    Perlo (I know …) wrote his book on the unstable economy before the oil crisis.

  39. OldNat

    Somebody – perhaps Colin, but I can’t remember – cited it.

    Yes, Labour is in a valley (canyon ?) – I still think it is doable to get out of it, and I still think they won’t do it. They won’t even make a serious effort …

  40. Laszlo

    One might say they are sitting on the floor at the bottom!

  41. CARFREW

    An interesting post, you obviously have a problem with the oldest in society and lump them all together as one group whereas they are as diverse as any other generation. The baby boomers are usually regarded as those born between 1947 and 1964 but I accept that my generation had similar advantages, as well as disadvantages.

    Yes, some had the benefit of free University education but of course they were very few in number (4-5%) in my day. Yes, those who worked hard and performed well were able to develop interesting and rewarding careers and received decent company pensions when they retired. They were also able to save against a rainy day, invested wisely and built up substantial investments which now enable them to help their children in harder times.

    What you forget is that there are far more who did not make good use of their education, who were lazy and did not put their full energy into their work, who did not save or spent what savings they had on themselves, and who now lean on the state in their old age, a burden to the younger working generation.

    You also forget that the generation born in the 40s had to face bombing, wartime restrictions, food rationing, coal rationing etc etc. I still remember how cold the winter of 47 was. It was not fun for small children in the 40s.

    I accept that the younger generation do not have it easy, it’s why I give advice to my children and grandchildren from any acquired wisdom I have, as well as helping them financially when it is sensible to do so.

    Each generation has different problems to face you need to have a more balanced view. If people have the right attitude to work and the right amount of drive then it should be perfectly possible to succeed now and in the future. I see it with some of my children and grandchildren.

    As to your economic gloom and doom in the final part of your post, as you know I don’t share your’s or Alec’s views but even if your correct I believe those with the correct attitude to life will find a way through the problems.

  42. @neila

    “……especially given how the SNP basically present Westminster MPs as having no function whatsoever….”

    I think the SNP basically think that Westminster MPs currently have far too much “function”!

  43. With one slight adjustment, 100% of the UKIP votes in the HoC will support the changes. The one adjustment would be for the new Clacton & Harwich to retain Jaywick, which for some completely unaccountable reason is being detached from Clacton (of which it is an integral part) and being placed in a largely rural constituency.

    Other than that, I think all parties round these parts support the change.

  44. Norbold

    The Commons can’t make that adjustment (If it could, it wouldn’t be very independent, would it?.) The opportunity to make representations to tweak the boundaries for local reasons is part of the procedure.

  45. Can’t see Berwick in the list. Now Tory was Lib Dem – but taking in 1/3 of Wansbeck which is solid Labour sholdmakes this a 3-way marginal

  46. Sorry found it now – yes just Labour based on current performance.

  47. The new Berwick & Ashington seat is Labour by 1,215 votes. But in practice the Tories are probably favourites.

  48. @ToH

    Ah, I see a reversion to playing the victim right from the off, an ad hominem right away, lol. I didn’t complain about the oldest in society, I just noted some advantages they had, In the context of Theresa’s meritocracy thing, and the Times pointing out how those with assets benefit disproportionately from QE. If you wanna take issue with the Times feel free.

    That peeps had hardships in the war is not in dispute, but is missing the point, because subsequent to that opportunities grew rather. This is about the future, how much of a future peeps without such opportunity have if can’t afford property, pensions, harder to get on a career ladder etc.

    Similarly, that some might not have worked hard enough does not alter the fact that advantages that were made available that do not pertain so much now.

    In short, claiming victim hood, claiming some didn’t put the effort in etc. may be true but doesn’t diminish what I was saying.

  49. “Out of interest how do people think that parties like the DUP are likely to vote on the issue?”

    DUP will certainly vote against because the new boundaries are very bad news for them. The specific boundaries could hardly be any better for Sinn Féin and hardly any worse for the DUP.

  50. My own constituency – Batley and Spen – looks to be split in two. Who ever replaces Jo Cox will lose their constituency in 2020 (if these proposals go through).

    A couple of Morley wards join with some Batley wards to make Batley and Morley (no imagination in the name!). That looks very safe Labour.

    More interestingly, Spen is created from some Batley and Bradford wards, and that looks very marginal notionally. a swing of a few percent Labour to Conservative would take it for the blues.

    I did calculate the new seats by adding up the individual wards that make them up, based on the 2015 election. The results are close to AW’s.

    I think opposing the changes on the grounds of it being unfair looks hazardous to me. There are issues with the way voters are registered, but constructing seats of a similar size by adding together adjoining wards makes claims of g*rrymanding look a bit silly in my view.

    I would also add that cutting the cost of democracy as an argument looks threadbare, when every year sees the Lords increases in size. 600 MPs, fine, but let’s see the Lord cut down to 250-300 too.

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