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The 2018 Review of constituency boundaries is set to reduce the number of constituencies in the UK from 650 to 600, and reduce the variation in their electorates.

On 13 September 2016, the Boundary Commission for England published its initial proposals for 501 English constituencies (a reduction of 32 seats). This briefing paper examines how the initial proposals would change the existing map of constituencies. It looks at:

  • the extent to which proposed constituencies can be identified with existing seats. For 70% of existing seats, the proposals suggest transferring more than 75% of their electors to a single new seat;
  • which seats remain unchanged and which ‘disappear’;
  • which existing constituencies would be most affected by the proposals; and
  • which proposed seats cannot straightforwardly be identified with existing seats.

A number of proposed constituencies cross local authority boundaries.

The proposed constituency with the largest electorate is Failsworth and Droylsden (78,502). The proposed seat with the smallest electorate is Dudley West (71,078) (although the two seats on the Isle of Wight do not have to meet the requirement for their electorate to fall within 5% of the electoral quota of 74,769, and have smaller electorates).

The proposed constituency covering the largest geographical area is Hexham and Morpeth (3,343 km2). The smallest proposed constituency is Camberwell and Vauxhall Bridge (8 km2).

Library Briefing Paper 5929 Constituency boundary reviews and the number of MPs provides background to the boundary review process and discusses the 2013 Review which was halted. Information on the public consultation process that follows the publication of the initial proposals is provided in Library Briefing Paper 7696 Parliamentary boundary reviews: public consultation.

Maps showing the existing and proposed constituency boundaries in each region are on http://constituencyboundaries.uk/. Maps and discussion for individual proposed constituencies are on the Boundary Commission for England’s website. Factors considered by the Boundary Commission for England in developing its proposals are explained in A Guide to the 2018 Review, also available on the Commission’s website.


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