MPs’ seats face huge change in boundary review

Parliamentary boundaries could be vastly different next time people go to the polls at a general election.

Parliamentary boundaries could be vastly different next time people go to the polls at a general election.

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MPs’ seats across Nottinghamshire face a shake-up under new boundary proposals.

The Boundary Commission has today unveiled new proposals for parliamentary constituencies across the UK, in a bid to cut the number of MPs in the Commons and create equal-sized seats.

The number of MPs would be cut from 533 to 501 in England, from 40 to 29 in Wales, from 59 to 53 in Scotland and from 18 to 17 in Northern Ireland, taking the total number from 650 down to 600.

Several seats in Nottinghamshire and north Derbyshire face changes, although the Mansfield and Ashfield seats, held by Labour’s Sir Alan Meale and Gloria De Piero respectively, would be largely unchanged.

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In its draft proposals, the commission says: “The East Midlands currently has 46 constituencies. Of these constituencies, 24 have electorates within 5 per cent of the electoral quota.

“The electorates of 19 constituencies currently fall below the 5 per cent limit, while the electorates of three constituencies are above.

“Our initial proposals for the East Midlands are for 44 constituencies, a reduction of two.”

The commission says constituencies must have no fewer than 71,031 electors and no more than 78,507.

Talking about Nottinghamshire, the commission’s report says: “With electorates, respectively, of 76,764 and 74,066, we propose that Bassetlaw and Mansfield should remain wholly unchanged.

“This would mean that the boundaries of the Mansfield constituency would continue to be coterminous with the District of Mansfield. We propose that Ashfield, with an electorate of 76,490, would be changed only to reflect the changes to

local government ward boundaries in the area.”

Under the proposals, Ollerton and Boughton wards would transfer from the Sherwood constituency to Newark.

Sherwood would also lose Hucknall – where Mark Spencer, current Tory MP for Sherwood has his office – to a revised Broxtowe and Hucknall constituency, although it would gain several wards from the existing Gedling constituency, which would disappear.

Talking about Derbyshire, the commission’s report says: “The Bolsover constituency in the north-east of Derbyshire requires additional electors to meet the electoral threshold and is therefore significantly reconfigured in our proposals. “We propose that the constituency extend across the county to the north of the borough of Chesterfield with the inclusion of 12 wards from the existing North East Derbyshire constituency, including the town of Dronfield.

“We also propose that eight wards in the west and south of the existing Bolsover constituency should be included in a newly created Alfreton and Clay Cross constituency.

“As a result of our changes, we propose that the constituency should be called Bolsover and Dronfield.

“In addition to gaining wards from the existing Bolsover constituency, our proposed Alfreton and Clay Cross constituency would contain parts of the existing North East Derbyshire constituency.”

Nationally, Labour is forecast to be worst affected by the changes, as a larger proportion of its seats contain fewer than the prescribed minimum number of voters – with party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s Islington North seat one of those under threat.

Jon Ashworth, the party’s shadow minister, said: “There is nothing fair about redrawing boundaries with millions left out, and reducing the number of elected MPs while the unelected House of Lords continues to grow.”

Chris Skidmore, Tory constitution minister, said the government was “committed to ensuring fair and equal representation for the voting public across the UK is in place by the next general election”.

A public consultation is under way into the reforms, with final proposals due in October 2018. If agreed by Parliament the new boundaries would be in place by the 2020 general election.

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