DETAILS of a shakeup of parliamentary boundaries that will hand England an additional 10 seats at the expense of Wales and Scotland have been revealed. 

The proposals are intended to ensure nearly all constituencies have broadly similar numbers of voters and that means the current system in which Welsh seats have smaller populations will be scrapped and a result Wales will have eight fewer MPs than it does at present. 

Proposed new boundaries for Wales, and Scotland, will be published separately at a later date. 

The proposals related to England will see seats MPs from the north and the West Midlands reduced and the bulk of new seats created will be in the south of England. 

While experts believe the plans will result in gains for the Conservatives, the upheaval could cause problems for Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, whose Wyre and Preston North seat is carved up, and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, who faces major changes to his South Staffordshire constituency. 

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will see his parliamentary boundaries substantially redrawn, while the seats of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak will remain largely unchanged under the proposed new electoral map of England. 

Of the 533 existing English constituencies, fewer than 10 per cent will remain unchanged under the proposals. 

The Boundary Commission is not due to make its final recommendations to Parliament until July 2023 and its proposals are the subject of an eight-week consultation. 

Scotland will lose two of its 59 MPs but Wales will see the biggest reduction with the number of Welsh constituencies will be reduced from 40 to 32. Northern Ireland will be unaffected. 

The Boundary Commission for Wales said in March, it will consider issues such as geography, existing constituencies, local government boundaries, and local ties when developing proposals for new constituencies. 

Each proposed constituency must contain between 69,724 and 77,062 electors based on the electorate figures supplied by the ONS on 5 January 2021. 

Ynys Mon is a protected constituency and will not be subject to any changes. The island constituency was won by the Conservatives at the 2019 general election having been held by Labour, since 2001, and before that Plaid Cymru. 

At present Welsh constituencies have around 55,000 electors – boosting the number of seats in Welsh seats in Parliament in which the vast majority of MPs represent English seats. 

The UK Government has claimed ensuring constituencies have roughly the same number of voters will mean votes will count the same across England, Scotland and Wales.

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Though Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru MPs have previously voiced opposition to the reduction it could be used to argue the case, both in terms of representation and cost, for increasing the number of Senedd Members. 

At present 40 of the 60 Senedd Members are elected to represent constituencies with the same boundaries as Parliamentary seats and changes to Westminster constituencies could also lead to a call for a rethink of Senedd boundaries. 

The commission will also hold three separate consultation periods on its initial and revised proposals for Wales which will include public hearings. The first consultation period will begin immediately following the publication of the commission’s initial proposals in September 2021 and will last eight weeks. 

Responding to the proposals announced today for England Tory peer and elections expert Lord Hayward told the PA news agency: “My thought is that the Tories’ net gain will be five to 10 seats.” 

That was partly due to the reduction of seats in Wales and Scotland and partly due to extra constituencies being created in Tory heartlands such as south-east England. 

Lord Hayward said: “There’s much more change than I expected, and I think most people would say that. 

“Obviously you’ve got to do a fair amount of change because what you’re working on is electorates that are over 20 years old now. 

“But I think in a number of places like Hampshire and Sussex and Suffolk and Leicestershire, they’ve made more change than I expected and I thought was necessary. 

“And the agony is clearly on both sides. You know, there will be constituencies where people face a problem.” 

By law, the commission is required to draw up seats with 69,724 to 77,062 electors – a condition which it said meant that widespread change was “inevitable”. 

Among those affected are Labour leader Keir Starmer’s Holborn and St Pancras constituency in north London, which the commission is proposing to rename Kentish Town and Bloomsbury to reflect the changes. The commission noted the current electorate is 5 per cent above the limit. 

In contrast, the commission said its proposals for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency in west London were “very similar” to the existing boundaries, adding one extra ward. 

Rishi Sunak’s Richmond seat in North Yorkshire is also subject to limited change under the proposals, losing two wards to Thirsk and Malton. 

Additional reporting by the Press Association

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