The Boundary Commission for England is now consulting on its latest revised proposals for parliamentary constituency boundaries in England. Responses are accepted up to Monday 11 December 2017.
The 'Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011' required boundary commissions to reduce the number of parliamentary seats from 650 to 600 and 'The Boundary Commission for England' (BCE) 2018 Boundary Review is in compliance with this.
The revised proposals for the '2018 Boundary Review' were published on 17 October 2017 and the BCE is now consulting on these proposals until tomorrow - Monday 11 December 2017. This consultation is the third and last for the '2018 Boundary Review'. Further details on all this is available on their web-site.
Very roughly, the BCE is proposing to cut the existing North Dorset Parliamentary Constituency in half and replace it with two new ones:
- Warminster & Shaftesbury Parliamentary Constituency
- Mid Dorset Parliamentary Constituency
The first new proposed constituency, Warminster and Shaftsbury, would roughly join together the northern half of the existing 'North Dorset' constituency with the existing 'South West Wiltshire' constituency. So, it would extend from just north of Blandford to Westbury, deep in Wiltshire.
The original proposal for this new constituency included Pulham and Droop but now, in these latest proposals, they are excluded.
The second new proposed constituency, Mid Dorset, would extend from Pentridge to Wareham, including both Blandford and Wimborne.
The original proposal for the new constituency (called 'Blandford and Wimborne') did not include Wareham or Broadstone but, in the new proposal, it now does.
In addition the original proposal for the new constituency included Verwood, West Moors and Ashley Heath but, in the new proposal, it now doesn't.
Press reports in early September 2017 suggested that the government is unlikely to push forward with the '2018 Boundary Review'.
It is suggested that the boundary commissions will be asked to repeat their reviews but keeping the total number of seats at 650. But this will require new primary legislation, and if this is brought forward it could usefully make seats more homogeneous and reduce the need to cross traditional boundaries. A repeat of the reviews could not be done very quickly, since all the proposed boundaries would have to be redrawn and the consultation processes re-run on the new boundaries.
Taken together, this greatly increases the chances that the next general election will be run under the existing boundaries.