As rumoured, George Osborne is one of the high-profile Ministers set to lose his seat if the boundary changes are passed – they’ve yet to be debated in the Commons so we can expect a packed House for that, unlike some other topics where MPs can’t be bothered to attend.
Some of the MPs most affected are:
A “senior Tory”, as usual unnamed, said:
“We are not happy about this. There are MPs who gave up a lot to come here and now it looks like they face real fights. Whips have been coming up to us and asking how we are taking this. Not well is the message.”
The MP said it was possible that the changes might be dropped. “This is far more wide-ranging than anyone had thought. It wouldn’t surprise me if this is dropped. They’ll just say it is all too complicated and they’ll come back to it after the election.”
The number of constituencies will be cut from 533 to 502 and the number of MPs from 650 to 600. The changes formed part of the Coalition manifesto which they agreed after taking office – the LibDems agreeing to support it in return for the referendum on Alternative Voting. Sour grapes at losing that vote means that some LibDems are now threatening to vote against the changes. Such reliable partners.
Another consequence of the reform is that English County lines are once again being blurred by politics: Cornwall and Devon aren’t happy.
You can find out if or how you might be affected HERE.
Conservative Home has an informative article by an elections analyst, which is worth a glance:
These reviews will become more regular. They will now be held every 5 years but there will be further change to electoral law in this Parliament. Individual voter registration will probably be introduced in two years time. This will I hope reduce abuse in not only voter registration but also postal voting and campaign irregularities. All of these are now rife in many places and make our elections more ‘corrupt’ than in many developing countries.
I’m not sure why he bothered to put the word ‘corrupt’ in inverted commas; it’s widely acknowledged that postal voting has corrupted the electoral process to a degree never known before in British politics.
Another, or possibly the same, unnamed ‘senior Tory’ source said (£):
“It has been really difficult to get MPs to focus on the big issues when all they want to know about is whether they’ll still have a seat. Some of the usual rebels could suddenly find themselves in trouble when they are looking to the party for a new seat or a place in the Lords.”
And that’s it in a nutshell: no real concern about representation of the people or the disregard of natural geographical County boundaries, just a concern for their own skins.
UPDATE 14th: Cameron warns Clegg not to dispute new boundaries