Proposed boundary changes would give Tories 40 seat advantage for same vote share

Recent Projections have revealed that the boundary changes, soon to be proposed by the Boundaries Commission, would give the Conservatives a 40 seat advantage.

The analysis, conducted by Electoral Calculus, has revealed that if both major parties were to receive 38% of the vote the Conservatives would be the largest party by 40 seats.

The Boundary Commission has yet to release the full report but this initial data shows that they would need to seriously reconsider as the changes are clearly tantamount to gerrymandering on behalf of the government.

It is worth noting the current boundaries already favour the Conservatives- with the party being overrepresented by 6.4% in the Commons. Labour are overrepresented by only 0.3%. Such a distortion arises from the system of First Past the Post favouring the larger parties.

These new changes stem from the Conservatives’ wish to reduce the size of the Commons to 6oo seats. This means the 40 seat advantage in a 600 seat assembly would be more significant than the current Tory advantage, which is estimated to be around 21 seats in a currently 650 seat assembly.

These changes risk locking Labour out of government.

However, these proposals are different from the last which saw the DUP potentially lose out. But, with the DUP now placated, the boundary changes may pass through the House, although, some Tories may be uncomfortable voting to abolish their constituencies. The SNP are not affected either, and they may vote for these proposals based on their apathy to constituencies situated outside Scotland.

The changes outlined in today’s report may well give new strength to those hoping to change the UK’s voting system to a more proportional system.

Analysis from Iwan Doherty- Editor in Chief

It’s gerrymandering, pure and simple. These changes should not be proposed. The Boundaries Commission is supposed to be an independent organisation but if these proposals made it to the Commons would be a clear sign that the commision had been compromised by political agendas. Indeed, the sudden way in which the DUP have been excluded from changes since the Tories formed a tawdry coalition symbolises the blatant corruption.

They need to go back to the drawing board and draft proposals that ensure seat totals are representative of the vote share. If these changes were ever enforced, the calls to move away from FPTP would get much louder.

I expected Theresa May to pass boundary changes before calling any election, just as Labour would be wise to pass their ‘Votes for 16s’ bill before the next GE, but that was not the case. She may now face a tricky battle to finalise her gerrymandering. But if these boundary changes resemble a final proposal, it would be an open perversion of our democracy.


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