Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, October 24, 2016

Redistricting in Scotland

The decision to reduce the number of seats in the House of Commons was partly a response to the lack of space. There aren't enough places on Commons benches for all the members. As with any redistricting, there are conflicts about which districts are shrinking and which are growing.

A list of the proposed constituencies appears at the end of the article.

Boundary changes: Political map of Scotland to be redrawn
The political map of Scotland is to be almost completely redrawn under plans to cut the number of Scottish seats at Westminster from 59 to 53…

They could threaten the seats of the only Labour and Conservative MPs in Scotland…
Proposed constituencies

The move forms part of proposals to reduce the total number of MPs in the House of Commons from 650 to 600.

But the proposed boundary changes have been described as "unacceptable" by Labour and the SNP - which won 56 of the 59 seats in Scotland at the last general election…

[Forty] sitting MPs will be facing a scramble for only 34 new seats…

The Boundary Commission for Scotland was required to ensure each of the new constituencies - with the exception of the island seats - has between 71,031 and 78,507 voters and does not cover an area of more than 13,000 sq km (5,019 sq miles)…

Lord Matthews, deputy chairman of the commission, said he believed the proposals were a "good implementation" of the rules set by parliament.

He added: "Today is the start of a process, and we now want to hear the views of the public. We will reflect on responses to the consultation and makes changes if needed where the legislation allows us to do so…"

The SNP's new deputy leader, Angus Robertson, criticised the proposed reduction in the number of elected representatives in Scotland.

He said: "At a time when Scotland already faces a deep and growing democratic deficit, with a Tory government that we didn't vote for imposing increasingly right-wing policies against our will, it is vital that the Scottish people have strong elected representation at Westminster to stand up for Scotland's interests and to hold the UK government to account."…

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