Azara Blog: Labour likely to lose out from parliament boundary changes

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Date published: 2007/02/04

The BBC says:

A hung parliament is much more likely at the next election as proposed boundary changes will reduce the number of Labour MPs, say researchers.

There are plans to reshape 500 of 573 constituencies in England and Wales to reflect population changes.

If changes had been in place during the last general election, Labour's 66-seat majority would have been cut to 48, say University of Plymouth researchers.

Then a swing of just 1.6% could have lost Labour its overall majority.

Parliamentary boundaries are reviewed about every 10 years to ensure each constituency has roughly the same number of potential voters.

The research suggests Labour would lost seven seats, while the Tories would gain 12. The number of seats for the Lib Dems would remain the same.
The changes will increase the number of seats in Parliament from 646 to 650, with all the new posts being created in England.

The large northern cities, and London, have lost seats to the rural south of England because of its population growth.

Given that the cities are losing seats and the rural (and presumably suburban) areas are gaining seats, it is fairly obvious that Labour will be worse off. This does show, though, that the UK is not as corrupt as the US, where the party in power would have managed to gerrymander the boundaries to their own benefit.

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