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Published on September 13th, 2011 | by Mark Wright
Image © [caption id="attachment_3560" align="alignright" width="225" caption="UK parliamentary constituency boundary map ©maps international"][/caption] The redrawing of parliamentary boundaries, which will cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600, will ignite a political storm. ‘Forget what’s happening in the rest of the world – the big issue for MPs in the coming months will be the boundaries’. Few MPs will avoid changes to their constituency boundaries, and a few will find their seats abolished. High-profile figures who might be affected include George Osborne, Danny Alexander, Chris Huhne and Ed Balls. Election experts have cautioned against drawing conclusions about the likely political consequences of the changes, both in terms of seats won and the political outcome of the election, until the final complexion of the constituency map is clear. But there are a few predictions we can cautiously entertain: The Conservatives will be in a better position Mike Smithson says ‘it is almost inevitable that the blues, once the analysis and number crunching has been completed, will come out in a better position’. Over at the Guardian, a crude analysis of what the 2010 result might have been with the new boundaries suggests that the Conservatives will lose 2% of their seats in England, Labour 7.3% and the Lib Dems a disproportionate 23.25%. Labour leader Ed Milliband has accused the Conservatives of ‘gerrymandering’, changing boundaries to boost votes. I think the accusation is somewhat unfair – the Boundary Commission is notionally an impartial body which does not take party political consequences into consideration – and the electoral system has historically, not purposely, been biased in favour of Labour. However, the measures announced today could potentially introduce a new bias in favour of the Conservatives. The Liberal democrats will be the big losers The Liberal Democrats face an electoral wipe-out. The party stands to lose as many as 14 of their 57 seats and possibly dozens more unless their poll ratings – currently around 10% – improve. A Lib Dem rebellion is expected. 'Trying to control Lib Dems is like herding cats at the best of times,' said one Conservative source. 'If a dozen are de-mob happy, counting down till polling day when they know they'll be out on their ear, it will be a nightmare.'

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Redrawing of parliamentary boundaries will ignite political storm

UK parliamentary constituency boundary map ©maps international

The redrawing of parliamentary boundaries, which will cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600, will ignite a political storm. ‘Forget what’s happening in the rest of the world – the big issue for MPs in the coming months will be the boundaries’.

Few MPs will avoid changes to their constituency boundaries, and a few will find their seats abolished. High-profile figures who might be affected include George Osborne, Danny Alexander, Chris Huhne and Ed Balls.

Election experts have cautioned against drawing conclusions about the likely political consequences of the changes, both in terms of seats won and the political outcome of the election, until the final complexion of the constituency map is clear. But there are a few predictions we can cautiously entertain:

The Conservatives will be in a better position

Mike Smithson says ‘it is almost inevitable that the blues, once the analysis and number crunching has been completed, will come out in a better position’. Over at the Guardian, a crude analysis of what the 2010 result might have been with the new boundaries suggests that the Conservatives will lose 2% of their seats in England, Labour 7.3% and the Lib Dems a disproportionate 23.25%.

Labour leader Ed Milliband has accused the Conservatives of ‘gerrymandering’, changing boundaries to boost votes. I think the accusation is somewhat unfair – the Boundary Commission is notionally an impartial body which does not take party political consequences into consideration – and the electoral system has historically, not purposely, been biased in favour of Labour. However, the measures announced today could potentially introduce a new bias in favour of the Conservatives.

The Liberal democrats will be the big losers

The Liberal Democrats face an electoral wipe-out. The party stands to lose as many as 14 of their 57 seats and possibly dozens more unless their poll ratings – currently around 10% – improve. A Lib Dem rebellion is expected. ‘Trying to control Lib Dems is like herding cats at the best of times,’ said one Conservative source. ‘If a dozen are de-mob happy, counting down till polling day when they know they’ll be out on their ear, it will be a nightmare.’

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