Anorak News | Democracy manifest: Corbyn’s women fight over his seat in boundary changes plot

Democracy manifest: Corbyn’s women fight over his seat in boundary changes plot

by | 14th, September 2016

New constituency boundaries will result in 600 MPs sitting at Westminster – we have 650 now. What this will do to London markets in second-homes, vanity mirrors and prostitutes can only be guessed at. Emily Thornberry (lab) calls it a “gerrymandering sham“. “I am sure that there is no conspiracy,” she told in the Commons whilst rolling her eyes.

The FT explains:

They are also designed to bring greater consistency to constituencies, which form an irregular patchwork of sizes — covering between 21,000 people and 110,000. In the future each seat will be formed from 71,000 to 78,500 constituents.

The BBC adds:

Many experts believe the shake-up goes some way to remedying anomalies in the system – such as the disparities in constituency sizes which means MPs need different amounts of votes to get elected – which were historically unfair on the Tories.

But Labour claims the opposite, accusing the Conservatives of seeking to gerrymander the boundaries to their own political advantage

Tristram Hunt (Lab) is unhappy:

In an act of grotesque gerrymandering, some 23 Labour seats will be liquidated, hundreds of other seats affected and 2 million voters disenfranchised. On an out-of-date electoral register, hundreds of thousands of young people who registered to vote in the EU referendum are being denied a voice in the new constituencies. Wales will lose a quarter of its representatives as no account is taken of the asymmetric needs of the Union. While the Tories pack the Lords, they are thinning out the Commons beginning, with their usual gift for power, with Jeremy Corbyn’s own Islington North seat that is set to be discontinued.

Driving these changes is not a considered idea about the nature of representation and accountability in the 21st century, but David Cameron’s arbitrary desire to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600. So it was perhaps only fitting that he chose to quit on the day the Boundary Commission announced its conclusions.

Owen Jones agrees

A ruthless gerrymandering of British democracy to favour the partisan interests of the Conservative party: that’s what the new electoral boundary proposals amount to.

Asa Bennett tells Telegraph readers Labour and its supporters are crying because they’ve lost an advantage.

Step forward the independent Boundary Commission, which unveiled its initial proposals today for how to divide voters on much fairer lines in England. This will come as part of a wider review aiming to balance the distribution of voters across 600 seats in time for the 2020 General Election.

The Commission is an outside body. It has no party allegiance. It is a professional outfit, not a bunch of Tory stooges. ..

the boundary review’s critics have a choice. They could either calm down and engage constructively with the proposals, or they could dismiss it as a Tory plot. They may find that comforting, but a review of the system is overdue. Britons will not appreciate having to continue with a system where some of their votes aren’t as valuable as others simply to satisfy Labour and Liberal Democrat egos.

The Times predicts:

Research conducted by the political website Electoral Calculus found that planned alterations to the size and make-up of constituencies would increase the Conservative majority from the current 12 seats to a comfortable 48-seat lead. Coupled with recent changes in the public’s voting intentions as support for Labour and Ukip slips, the net effect would give the Conservatives a majority of 90 seats in a smaller House of Commons.

And this is great:

Jeremy Corbyn’s parliamentary seat is set to disappear under boundary changes to be announced today, forcing him to fight for a seat at the 2020 general election.

The Labour leader’s Islington North seat could vanish under plans to redraw the electoral map from 650 to 600 seats. Mr Corbyn’s seat is set to be divided between Diane Abbott and Emily Thornberry.

Democracy in action.


Posted: 14th, September 2016 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink