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. OldNat
    I’ll take your word for the lack of concern over the last lot of Scottish boundary changes (although I’m curious as to how you differentiate political posturing from legitimate voter concern).

    A cynic might suggest that the SNP has concluded that the more dysfunctional the union becomes the greater the chances of Scottish independence…

  2. “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 remember people saying that Scotland should have more seats than the average in the population for the rest of the UK because of its status as a nation, to counterbalance England’s numerical superiority.

    Then other people said that cutting Scottish seats to a low level was a solution to the West Lothian question.

    In Northern Ireland the number of seats was very low (12) until Stormont was abolished in the early 1970s. Thereafter it was brought “into line” with the same proportion of seats as the rest of the UK.

    So we seem to have a process in which Scotland and Wales were “overrepresented” and Northern Ireland was “underrepresented” — in terms of electors per constituency – and today there is a convergence towards an average level across the entire United Kingdom.

    With the exception I believe of some Highlands and Islands seats.

  3. I’ve only looked at the North East proposals so far (and then only a quick glance) but some of the proposals are bizarre.

    Washington, Billingham, Hartlepool and Barnard Castle are also split across two constituencies and Middlesbrough is split across three. One or two of these splits may have passed without comment but all five of these suggest that the Boundary Commission has made no attempt to preserve communities within single seats.

    The splitting of the two Barnard Castle wards is particularly odd. Who drew the proposed boundaries for Bishop Auckland – Helen Goodman?

    If the other regions are like this then the cynic in me would say that the Boundary Commission is providing daft boundaries to give MPs a credible excuse to vote the whole review down.


    “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.”

    How amusing, if anybody is claiming victim hood it’s you. I don’t feel a victim at all, i was just pointing out that every generation has problems to face. I made a success of my life and despite some health issues remain very contented with my lot. You seem incapable of understanding yourself, and seem so miserable all the time despite the advantage you have had of a good education.

    You choose not to understand the points I made to you fair enough, that’s up to you. Goodnight.

  5. Apparently progress thinks that the new islington seat should have an all woman shortlist!

  6. Sorbus

    “A cynic might suggest that the SNP has concluded that the more dysfunctional the union becomes the greater the chances of Scottish independence…”

    A cynic might also think that Scotland functioning more effectively was a better way of increasing the chances of independence.

    Certainly Lord George Ffoulkes seemed to think so in 2008 –

    Interviewed on BBC Radio Scotlands Scotland at Ten by Colin MacKay.

    Lord Foulkes: The SNP are on a dangerous tack at the moment. What they are doing is trying to build up a situation in Scotland where the services are manifestly better than south of the border in a number of areas.

    (A clearly bemused) Colin MacKay : Is this such a bad thing?

    Lord Foulkes: No, but they are doing it deliberately.


  7. OldNat

    Truly bizarre.

    Scotland certainly does a better job of gritting the roads on its side of the border and has done for as long as I can remember. Perhaps I should try to work out whether spending on gritting aligns better with political boundaries or annual snowfall contours!

  8. Prof Howard

    “With the exception I believe of some Highlands and Islands seats.”

    Actually with the exception of Orkney & Shetland, Na h-Eileanan an Iar and the Isle of Wight.

    All other constituencies across the UK need to have electorates between 71,031 and 78,507. except where a constituency is larger than 12,000 square kilometres.

    Any Boundary Commission can create constituencies below 71,031 in sparsely populated areas, but such decisions cannot increase the number of seats in that polity.

  9. Sorbus

    And Norway, Sweden and Finland do a damn sight better than us!

    But (as always) governments need to take decisions on how likely and regular incidents are likely to be, before deciding how much money to commit to a particular service.

  10. Typical Champions league;

    Poor dodgy refereeing from a bias second rate foreign official and Barca score seven lucky goals against the run of play……


  11. @ToH

    Piling on the ad homs wishing misery upon me doesn’t undo playing victim, nor does it have much bearing on my points about May’s meritocracy and the Central Bank inflating assets and risking stoking inflation.

    You’ve got it in your head I’m complaining about my lot, but I wasn’t on about my lot, I was talking about the Times article which took issue with May’s meritocracy thing in the context of Central Bank action advantaging the already advantaged. Even if someone were truly miserable, it wouldn’t magic away the Central Bank’s effect on asset values etc….

  12. Peter

    But, it seems safe to assume that Barca would have beaten Sevco by at least 12. :-)

  13. oops

    should be ‘but has done…’

  14. via Britain Elects

    Andrew Harrop

    Proposed constituencies imply LAB needs to win 97 seats to gain a majority. If no gains in Scotland winning line is Basingstoke (maj 11,000)

  15. LASZLO


    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.”


    Could you explain how those things invalidate my points about inflation needing careful management near full emoloyment, and inflation handily diminishing the debt?

    Also, the era saw a few p1ssy little recessions, hardly emblematic of “crisis”. From the Telegraph… ” 1950s and 1960s:

    The early ones in the late 1950s and early 1960s were both short-lived and relatively shallow. 1956 saw a two-quarter recession, with the economy contracting 0.3pc in the second quarter and 0.2pc in the third. A year later the economy had fallen back into recession, with gross domestic product shrinking 0.1pc in the second quarter and 0.7pc in the third quarter. The swinging 60s was punctuated by a single recession in 1961 in which the economy contracted 0.2pc in the third quarter and 0.6pc in the fourth quarter. ”

    In contrast, the banking crisis saw a near seven percent contraction. Even the early Nineties recession saw a fair bit of contraction compared to Fifties and Sixties:

    “1990s: Just like the recession ten years before, output fell for just over a year. But the drop was not as sharp as it was in the early 1980s – we saw a fall of 2.5pc. The economy shrank 1.2pc in the third quarter of 1990 and 0.6pc in the fourth. 1991 0.1pc contraction in the first quarter. 0.3pc in the second and 0.4pc in the third. ”

    The Seventies oil cr

  16. Looking at the seats the most obvious ridiculous candidates (by shape) are in Sheffield and Birmingham, I’m sure there are others elsewhere that split communities, but at a glance don’t have an isthmus in the middle.

    The problem mainly stems from insisting on a low deviation from the average size (perfectly reasonable) but insisting on the use of council wards as the building blocks. In cities where the wards are large and don’t have a multiple that fits quota +- 5% you end up either having to include a differently sized ward from a neighbouring council, or searching for particularly large or small wards within the council regardless of the geographic sense. The best solution would have been to use polling districts as the building blocks.

    I’d also be interested to see the current electorate of the proposed constituencies. I appreciate that the electoral commission are operating within a set of rules they’re given, but it would be a guide as to which seats to leave at -4% and which to leave at +4%, so actual polling day 2020 electorates are as close to even as possible.

  17. @Laszlo cont’

    Soz, pressed. submit too early. Anyways, comparing Seventies and early Eighties recessions…

    “The economy contracted 0.8pc in the third quarter of 1973, 0.2pc in the fourth and 2.4pc in the first quarter of 1974. Just over a year later, recession again had its grip as the economy shrank 0.7pc in the second quarter and 0.2pc in the third quarter.”


    The recession at the start of the 1980s was by far the worst in recent memory –not only did it last for more than a year, but economic output contracted by nearly 5pc – quiet a turnaround from the 4pc expansion before the Winter of Discontent took its toll. Starting in the first three months of 1980, gross domestic product contracted for five straight quarters. ”

    There’s something of a case for saying once things became more neol1b, then recessions were worse, had more of the crisis about them.

  18. “The Labour leader set out plans on Tuesday for a new training camp for Labour members in every region of the UK in order to help turn many of the hundreds of thousands of new joiners into active community organisers.
    Corbyn said the plan would put the party’s 500,000 members at the front of Labour’s strategy to win the next general election, claiming it “represents the single biggest commitment by any political party in British history to aid in the learning and training of its members”.


  19. Craig

    There is and never was an insistence of such a rule. I think it’s something the boundary commissions try to keep to where possible.

    From what I understand, this time around they were more inclined to split wards. If there is a duff set of boundaries in a local area, it might be worth reading their reasoning and submitting a different set of boundaries at the consultation.

  20. @Colin

    re: training camps. Think it’ll work?…

  21. @Thoughtful

    As I posted earlier on this thread, the case the Government can make that:

    a) the boundary commission is independent
    b) each constituency should be roughly the same size regarding the number of electors

    I think that any attempt to make it look like it’s biased, unfair, a plot or a conspiracy does look hollow.

    However, we seem live in politically paranoid times. Previous redrawing of boundaries have helped Labour (although not by design), and this will likely favour the Conservatives (again not by design).

    The pendulum swings one way then the next. That’s life!

  22. Colin

    You clearly need readjustment. Report to your nearest commissar :-)

    The real stuff is this:

    But I’m afraid Corbyn is not communist, not even a Maoist, He is a social democrat.

    Oh, by the way, those Novegian youth massacred a few years ago were in a similar camp … You see, life is much more complicated than a Tory imagines.

  23. @Oldnat

    “All other constituencies across the UK need to have electorates between 71,031 and 78,507. except where a constituency is larger than 12,000 square kilometres.”

    Interesting. If we take the referendum electorate of 4,283,392 and subtract the total islands electorates (56,314 across two seats), then divide the remainder by the average of the min and max constituency size (74,904), we get 56.4 seats.

    Adding the islands, that should be about 58-59 seats. I could save them the bother and say “don’t bother”.

  24. Carfrew,

    Is that “Training Camps” or “Education Camps”?

    As it’s Corbyns plan maybe they could have “Re-education Camps” for MP’s.
    Aparrantly they swear by them in North Korea!


  25. @Peter C.

    Well I didn’t wanna go down that road because one of Colin’s family is a Corbynite…

  26. The complaints from labour MPs are really quite pathetic, also ironic when they have been trying desperately to rig the leadership election and now have plans to do away with corbyn by making his successor seat a women only shortlist

  27. @Thoughtful – “I have to say that it is a cause of deep worry that several Labour MPs who must be aware that the boundary commission is independent, have chosen to call the changes a Tory inspired plot against the Labour party.”

    Not really, because it probably is. The BC will apply the terms it has been given without any bias, but the terms were set by a Conservative PM, and here there are clear indications that Cameron was trying to disadvantage Labour.

    The seat reduction is the really significant thing. You ought to consider the fact that Cameron opted for just 600 seats, which is the lowest number of MPs the union has ever had. Not since the Act of Union has the Westminster parliament had this few MPs, with 648 MPs after 1707, when the population was 5.2m. We dropped to 615 MP’s after Eire left, but 600 would be the smallest legislature for over three centuries, and the smallest that the modern UK has ever had, despite the fact that our population is the greatest it has ever been and the workload of MPs is higher than it has ever been.

    Why is this? Perhaps cost really is the excuse, but given that we have the largest second chamber of any western country in the world at over 800 peers (the US manages on 100) and Cameron increased their ranks massively, mostly Conservatives, oddly enough, I don’t really think anyone seriously thinks his proposals have anything to do with cost.

    At heart, this was always about tilting the system on favour of the Conservatives, and finding a way to do that while trying to make it appear like a natural rebalancing process. The basis of this is partisan bias, dressed up as some democratic housekeeping, but there is really no earthly excuse for restricting our representation to the lowest number of MPs we have ever had.

  28. Statgeek,

    “If we take the referendum electorate of 4,283,392 and subtract the total islands electorates (56,314 across two seats), then divide the remainder by the average of the min and max constituency size (74,904), we get 56.4 seats.

    Adding the islands, that should be about 58-59 seats. I could save them the bother and say “don’t bother”.”

    True but if to be fair to the rest of the U.K. by taking Scotland as getting it’s population share of the 600 seats, you could divid 4,283,392 by 74,904 to get 57 seats.

    Take the two island seats from that and you get a mainland average of (4,283,392-56,314) /55 to give a average per seat of 76,856, about 2,000 below the maximum allowed.

    For me with just under 9% of the population we should get about 53 seats out of 600 but that’s 80,000 plus each so something around 54-55 might be the fairest we can get, but even then some of the big Highland seats would be even bigger.


  29. Statgeek

    Loathe it or love it, the calculation is a helluva lot simpler!

    The UK electoral roll divided by 600 gives an average constituency of 74,769.2

    I’m more concerned that the maximum area of a constituency is 13,000 square miles. Does that include the sea area between the dry(ish) bits? As Scotland continues to rise out of the sea (as the sea continues to rise) what is the risk of a constituency needing to flood part of its coast in order to remain within the limit?

    Bloody LDs didn’t think of these practical issues when they shoved that requirement into the legislation to protect the seats they once thought they would continue to hold (suppresses laughter).

  30. @Rach

    “The complaints from labour MPs are really quite pathetic, also ironic when they have been trying desperately to rig the leadership election and now have plans to do away with corbyn by making his successor seat a women only shortlist”


    Well there’s always gender reassignment…

  31. Alec,

    You could raise it to 700 and it wouldn’t change a thing, over the last twenty thirty years the proportion of voters in Labour areas and seats has fallen and those in Tory areas and seats has risen.

    Cutting fifty seats loses the Tories about 10 seats and Labour about 30, so fifty extra would probably gain Labour about 10 and the Tories 30 or so, still a 20 seat shift in Tory favour.


  32. None of this really matters, its only for one election. 2018 Clive Lewis will be labour leader with Lisa Nandy as Deputy. They with forge an electoral pact with the lib dems and greens and a non aggression pact with ukip. They will win the GE and form a minority govt with SNP supply and confidence and introduce proportional representation

  33. Cutting the number of seats means a proportional increase in the payroll vote, at some point that becomes problematic.

    Under FPTP having bigger constituencies theoretically disadvantages smaller parties.

  34. ON

    If we’re organising our political boundaries on the principle that the chunks should have similar numbers of voters in them then having a federation in which England constitutes one chunk won’t wash.

  35. Sorbus

    I never said that England won’t wash! I’m not into Daily Express type bigotry.

    I’m always impressed that you guys are so well organised that all of you can get into the Wash a couple of times a day, though. :-)

    Rhode Island and California seem to manage to co-exist in a federation, however, so it doesn’t seem impossible to have a federation of unequals.

  36. Why wouldn’t be possible of not having a defined number of MPs, but saying that in a district of 5 constituencies 35,000 votes elect an MP?

    Anything less or something not divisible by 35,000 go to a central pot redistributed according to the share of votes.

    So, Party X gets 72,000 votes, it gets two MPs for the district, 2,000 goes to the central pot. This then gives y number of seats to Party X (number of votes divided by 35,000) from a list -‘that would go to a new HoL (all the appointed ones kicked out).

    It may even help with turnout, abolish the problem of tactical voting, and do not break the link with the constituents. So a district returns fewer MPs (or members of the upper chamber) if the turnout is low, and more if the turnout is high.

  37. OldNat

    It’s a bit late for detailed constitutional arguments, but England on its own would be able to out-vote the combined forces of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. California can’t do the equivalent.

    More to the point, as far as I’m concerned, is that England doesn’t make political sense as a single chunk.

  38. Carfrew

    Sorry, it’s late to answer your question about the economy. To be short: the economic system (not withstanding some major changes) since the Great Depression is built on buying time from government money. Buying time – that maybe private companies as a whole would start to produce substantial surplus value again. After the war it was the big investment drive, then inflation, then liberalisation, then stoking the stock markets and debt markets with free money – I don’t know what’s the new one.

    It is not a prediction of the impending collapse of capitalism, just an emphasis on the continuity of the economy over 70 years, which is kind of covered over by the changing economic policies (just for picking one for contrast – in 1961 the US introduced special penalties for companies investing abroad without the support of the administration).

  39. Carfrew

    As everybody is talking about great economists predicting the Great Recession …

    Jenô (Eugen) Varga predicted two recessions pretty well, completely missed others. For him it was life or exile (or worse).

    Victor Perlo (indicated in some telegrams) in his book Unstable Economy pretty closely predicted what would happen in the 1970s. It is worthwhile to read it if it’s available free.

  40. Sorbus

    Nice to find agreement just before I head off to bed.

    So, the current structure of the UK doesn’t suit any part of the UK. What a dreadful arrangement! :-)

  41. Is it just coincidence that DC announces his departure from politics the day before a select committee slams him for making the same mistakes in Libya as Blair made in Iraq?

  42. Thanks Anthony, didn’t realise that


    “Of course it’s impossible to prove what someone does and doesn’t know, but as MPs it is inconceivable they are not aware of the facts, which means that they are openly and knowingly lying to the public.”

    Absolutely but not the first time that MP’s have lied to the public is it :-)


    You have missed Thoughtfuls point completely they are independent and it is an independent report.

  44. LASZLO

    @”Oh, by the way, those Novegian youth massacred a few years ago were in a similar camp …

    Yes-I was thinking of the AUHF when I read the Guardian report-not a happy thought.

    @” You see, life is much more complicated than a Tory imagines.”

    I would put it another way-life is much less simplistic than a Bennite believes. :-)

  45. AUF-not AUHF

  46. Depressing & shocking. One can only hope & pray that exiting the CAP will herald a different approach.

    Countryfile did a very interesting piece on it in which they interviewed a retired farmer. Asked how he thought of the Natural Environment, and Wildlife fourty or fifty years ago. He said Hedges were just in the way & Wildlife was “the enemy”. !!

  47. @Oldnat – “The UK electoral roll divided by 600 gives an average constituency of 74,769.2”

    Wrong. It’s just over 77,500, if you take the current electoral roll. Within this, many seats will now breach the upper limit set by the review terms.

    @TOH – “You have missed Thoughtfuls point completely they are independent and it is an independent report.”

    No I didn’t. I expressly acknowledged that, but pointed out that the terms were set by a political opponent.

  48. To be precise, on the electoral roll as at June 23rd, it would be an average 77,502 per constituency.

  49. @Colin – “Depressing & shocking. One can only hope & pray that exiting the CAP will herald a different approach.”

    Very much hope so. The idea that farmers are the guardians of the countryside really does need to be put to bed, and replaced with a more realistic view of the agricultural sector as being a clear and present danger to the natural environment that needs to be controlled.

    Also – “It seems to have got them thinking-at long last:-”

    I’ve been saying for some time that the EU situation is far from clear. Yesterday we had the Polish government blaming the Commission for Brexit because of it’s arch federalist approach, and there does look to be a big battle going on between the member states and the commission. Brexit has certainly crystalized these conflicts, and I suspect a new and softer EU will emerge from this – which UK voters may well feel more inclined to be a part of.

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