Boundary Commission proposals

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Fishnut
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Boundary Commission proposals

Post by Fishnut » Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:27 pm

The Boundary Commission have announced their proposals. The consultation stage closes on 2 August 2021.
it's okay to say "I don't know"

IvanV
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Re: Boundary Commission proposals

Post by IvanV » Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:58 am

The previous idea was to reduce the number of seats to 600. Now they are keeping 650. This will annoy fewer MPs, as many more will have an obvious successor seat. Especially in the conservative heartlands of the south and east. So I expect it has a better chance of going through.

I've spotted some amusing effects in my own county, which gains a seat in these proposals. In the shuffling over that ensues from creating a large new constituency in the centre of the county, the rich and self-important town just to the south of me is squeezed out of its own constituency. It no longer gives its name to any constituency. They also recently ceased to be the seat of a district council, as they were amalgamated into a larger unitary authority.

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Re: Boundary Commission proposals

Post by headshot » Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:14 am

The proposal to combine a constituency into Kingswinford and South Staffs in the West Midlands is an interesting one. I live a stone's throw from there in Dudley BC.

I wonder what effect it would have on planning, as most of that area is currently a forgotten section of Staffordshire and weirdly juts south between Shropshire and Dudley...most of it is green belt bordered by suburbs.

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Re: Boundary Commission proposals

Post by FlammableFlower » Wed Jun 09, 2021 12:54 pm

Looking at the South West, they've got some county-straddling constituencies they've created. I noticed they kept referring to Avon as a county, but then had a footnote:
Comprising of the counties of Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire hereafter together referred to as ‘Avon’.
Seeing as the changes will only straddle one other county + Somerset, why not actually spell it out each time? Rather than referring to a non-existent entity...

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Re: Boundary Commission proposals

Post by bagpuss » Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:27 pm

Oh, we've been taken out of the local bigger town's one and lumped in with a whole swathe of more rural area, which actually makes a lot of sense although I suspect will mean my constituency will be even more Tory than the old one :roll:

IvanV wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:58 am
The previous idea was to reduce the number of seats to 600. Now they are keeping 650. This will annoy fewer MPs, as many more will have an obvious successor seat. Especially in the conservative heartlands of the south and east. So I expect it has a better chance of going through.

I've spotted some amusing effects in my own county, which gains a seat in these proposals. In the shuffling over that ensues from creating a large new constituency in the centre of the county, the rich and self-important town just to the south of me is squeezed out of its own constituency. It no longer gives its name to any constituency. They also recently ceased to be the seat of a district council, as they were amalgamated into a larger unitary authority.
I believe you must be in the same county as me. It took me a few minutes to realised which town you meant but I have figured it out. At least they haven't been lumped in with the bigger, less posh, town to the west. They'd never have coped :lol:

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Re: Boundary Commission proposals

Post by IvanV » Wed Jun 09, 2021 2:27 pm

bagpuss wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:27 pm
I believe you must be in the same county as me.
Yes.

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FairySmall
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Re: Boundary Commission proposals

Post by FairySmall » Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:19 pm

Interesting. Looks like Bristol is getting an extra seat (but somehow still managing to keep its arbitrary approach to points of the compass). I thought the whole point of this gerrymandering was to get more Tory seats. But we returned a full house of reds last time. Unless they think some blues from the outer edges might tip the scales. Or that the Greens might have a shot in one of the rejigged seats (probably Bristol Central, especially if there's a newbie Labour candidate).

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Re: Boundary Commission proposals

Post by IvanV » Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:22 pm

FairySmall wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:19 pm
... I thought the whole point of this gerrymandering was to get more Tory seats....
The overall effect will be likely to increase the number of Tory seats, albeit probably by not as much as it would have done if a similar exercise had been carried out pre-Brexit. That's doubtless why the Tories have pressed the button to go ahead with it.

We do have an independent boundary commission in this country which has to operate to set principles. Their main principle of operation is to even up the population per seat, which may well be true also even in places where gerrymandering is rife. But they also have rules on matching boundaries to existing administrative boundaries, and making seats coherent geographically. So that prevents the kind of strange, even fractal, voting boundaries found in some US states, which gave rise to the name gerrymander from salamander, pointing to the strange shapes of voting boundaries resulting. They also can't take account of the social make-up of populations and arrange them into seats of designed social composition, which is the particularly nasty trick of US gerrymandering.

On average Tory seats have a higher population than Labour seats. So the principle of evening up populations across constituencies will tend to benefit the Tories. But now that the Tories have won quite a few seats in "red wall" industrial decline areas that have falling constituency population, and Labour has prominence in growing urban areas like London and Bristol, nor does Labour have Scottish seats any more which are of lower average population, the difference isn't as large as previously. But the Tories are clearly judging that overall they gain.

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Re: Boundary Commission proposals

Post by dyqik » Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:30 pm

The biggest difference between the UK and US as far as gerrymandering goes is that the UK doesn't have the massive white flight suburbs, with black suburbs being limited to particular directions from the old urban centers.

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Re: Boundary Commission proposals

Post by science_fox » Thu Jun 10, 2021 12:54 pm

Expected changes -https://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/boundaries2023.html

Oddly there are far more seat changing boundaries than that, but I assume they're just small tweaks and won't change the overall picture.
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