Boundary changes

I did an interview early this morning for BBC Radio Humberside on the Boundary Commission’s recommendations.  Within the old Humberside area, the nine constituencies are reduced to eight.  The one that is dismembered is Brigg and Goole, with parts going to the Scunthorpe constituency, parts to what was the Cleethorpes constituency (now renamed Brigg and Humberston) and parts to what was the Haltemprice and Howden constituency.  Indeed, the changes to David Davis’ Haltemprice and Howden constituency are also significant.  Three Conservative wards are transferred to Hull West and Hessle, rendering Alan Johnson’s seat as a potential marginal, while Labour-voting Goole is transferred to Haltemprice and Howden, which is to be renamed Cottingham and Goole.   Readers familiar with the area will realise that the pairing of Cottingham and Goole is a somewhat incongruous one.

Under the new procedures, anyone wishing to make representations to the Boundary Commission on the recommendations have twelve weeks in which to do so.   The Commission has a consultation website.  (There will also be a series of public meetings.)  At the end of the twelve weeks, the submissions are published and people then have a further four weeks in which to comment on the submissions.  The Commission then has eight weeks in which to decide if it wishes to modify its recommendations in the light of the submissions.

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About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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18 Responses to Boundary changes

  1. ladytizzy says:

    Loving the boundary lines in blue: you can’t take the empire out of England. Looking at the Boundary Commission’s map not one, not two, but three of these nice lines meet on my house. It matters since one of the new constituencies looks set to be a marginal, as rare as hen’s teeth in the N East. I’m not expecting a quick reply from the info line, poor people.

  2. Croft says:

    Looking at some of the proposals it reminds me of those 19C straight line boundaries drawn by the colonial powers which were utterly farcical on the ground.

  3. Edward Brunsdon says:

    Goole and Cottingham !?!… so a cross Humber constituency.. it looks horrific on the map – merely connected by the M62… and the Guardian thinks Hull W & Hessle would have a notional Conservative majority of TWO votes.

    see here :
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2011/sep/13/boundary-changes-constituency-map

    I havn’t had a look at the counterproposals for Y+H region … but in my view compared with other ideas other people have suggested, the BCE draft proposals do look pretty daft. In London they have come up with a cross Thames proposal for Richmond and Twickenham and want to split The City from Westminster.

    Lewis Baston managed to come up with a set of proposals which avoided these pitfalls and tried to minimize other nasties such as three borough wide consituencies and so called orphan wards.

    One thing it may do is make constituencies more heterogenous and so some of our MPs are going to have to adopt a new “Home Style”

    • Lord Norton says:

      Edward Brunsdon: It is even worse than you mention in that the motorway finishes way before Cottingham. Though arguably the changes to the Hull West and Hessle constituency looks like favouring the Conservative Party, i suspect the Conservative voters in the wards transferred into the constituency from Haltemprice and Howden do not appreciate the change.

      The problem with coming up now with alternatives is that the alternative has to be pretty comprehensive. A relatively minor change can have substantial knock-on effects on a great many surrounding constituencies. That has been the problem with this review. The + or – 5% requirement makes that pretty inescapable.

      • Croft says:

        LN – The US uses 3% iirc so the 5% (effectively up to 10% wrong across two seats) is if anything generous.

      • Lord Norton says:

        Croft: I know. That coupled with state control of drawing up the boundaries produces some amazing shapes.

      • Croft says:

        Obviously i’m not arguing for the partisan boundary system in the US but getting to 3% (~6%) seems a reasonable long term goal – although looking at the likely shakedown from voter registration changes it may need to wait.

    • Lord Norton says:

      Croft: Indeed. One of the problems on this occasion was the speed with which the Boundary Commission has had to act.

  4. tory boy says:

    Lord Norton, I have not seen your noble friend Baroness Sharples in the chamber for two weeks is she away?

  5. Matt Howard says:

    It is interesting to read in the newspapers of the potential conflicts between MP’s in their own parties! Why didn’t they see this in advance?

    • Lord Norton says:

      Matt Howard: They did not necessarily know how the recommendations would affect them. Even if on paper your seat looks like no change is necessary, being within the + or – 5% requirement, changes to surrounding seats may have substantial effects on the seat.

  6. dannymarten says:

    Lord Norton, I suspect that in time, with quality candidates all the Hull seats will remain Labour, as Beverley and Bridlington will be Tory. The interesting seat will be Goole and Cottingham- the wards of Axholme North, Goole N/S are Labour, whilst at local election Labour had a good showing in Cottingham, Snaith (a former Labour seat) and Brough. Only the ward of Howdenshire and parts of dale (Little Weighton) are strong Tory. This could be closer than expected. AS for the argument- what does Cottingham and Goole have in common, about has much as the Haltemprice villages and Howden do at the moment!!

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