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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. In Scotland the number of constituencies will fall from 59 to 53.

On 20 October 2016, the Boundary Commission for Scotland published its initial proposals for the new areas. 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 51% of existing seats, the proposals suggest transferring more than 75% of their electors to a single new seat;

• which seats are ‘new’ or that ‘disappear’;

• which seats would cross local authority boundaries; and

• the deviation of proposed seats from the Electoral Quota.

Under the proposals:

• the constituency with the largest electorate is Moray and Nairn (78,477);

• the smallest electorate is Na h-Eileanan an Iar (20,887);

• the constituency with the largest area is Highland North (12,985 km2); and

• the constituency with the smallest area is Edinburgh North and Leith (20 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 proposed constituency boundaries in each region are on http://constituencyboundaries.uk/. Maps and discussion for individual proposed constituencies are on the Boundary Commission for Scotland’s website. Factors considered by the Boundary Commission for Scotland in developing its proposals are explained in Policies and Procedures Booklet, also available on the Commission’s website.


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