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How’ll the boundary review slash 1 in 4 Welsh seats?

January 9th, 2012

For MPs the waiting will soon be over

The part of the UK that is most affected by the seat equalisation and reduction plan is Wales where the boundary commissioners were charged with reducing the number of constituencies from the current 40 to 30. This is a cutback of a quarter.

To put this into context the national reduction is from 650 seats to 600.

According to the initial time-table the proposals for the new Welsh electoral map were due out in the first week in September 2011 at about the same time as the proposals for England.

That was put back until now and my understanding is we’ll get the proposals in the next couple of days.

Welsh seats have traditionally had smaller electorates than those elsewhere and at the last election averaged in the region of 55,000 people. The England figure, by contrast, was over 70,000.

Clearly the greater the proportion of seats that need to be slashed the bigger the challenge for the boundary commissioners and news of the delay was not surprising.

The buzz is that some big names in Welsh politics could face difficult selection battles.

There is a possibility that that the publication could coincide with the resignation of the Welsh secretary, Cheryl Gillan over the HS2 announcement. That sounds a bit too convenient?

Mike Smithson @MikeSmithsonOGH