The first draft of the new, reduced, political map of Wales has been produced as the country prepares to lose eight Members of Parliament. 

The UK Government’s decision to have constituencies of near equal population sizes means Wales will lose representation in the UK Parliament.

It was confirmed earlier this year the number of Welsh constituencies will reduce from 40 to 32. 

Boundary changes are also taking place in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland and they see the Conservative Party projected to gain an additional 10 seats, the same number of additional constituencies being created in England. 

Under the amended Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 each nation and region of the UK is given a share of 650 MPs based on the number of registered electors, with each one containing between 69,724 and 77,062 voters, 5 per cent either way of the UK average. 

There is one exception to this rule in Wales –  Ynys Môn can remain outside of the statutory range. 

Other than that, The Boundary Commission for Wales proposes boundary changes for all others in Wales. 

The National Wales: The commission's initial proposalsThe commission's initial proposals

Some constituencies see changed names under the proposals, while some are fully absorbed into neighbouring constituencies. 

The Commission said it had taken into account geographical features, such as lakes, rivers and mountains, when shaping its proposals, and also considered “local ties”, such as “shared history and culture”.

It explained that under its initial proposals six principal councils would be wholly contained within new constituencies (Blaenau Gwent, Ceredigion, the Isle of Anglesey, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire and Torfaen).

Some 16 existing constituencies would be wholly contained within new constituencies under the proposals (Aberconwy, Alyn and Deeside, Blaenau Gwent, Brecon and Radnorshire, Cardiff Central, Cardiff North, Cardiff West, Ceredigion, Dwyfor Meirionnydd, Islwyn, Llanelli, Montgomeryshire, Rhondda, Torfaen).

Meanwhile, 18 of the existing constituency names would remain the same.

The Commission said six constituencies would have an area over 1,000 kilometres squared (Aberconwy, Brecon and Radnor, Caerfyrddin, Ceredigion Preseli, Dwyfor Meirionnydd, and Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr).

Where electoral wards are currently split across more than one existing parliamentary constituency the Commission has proposed they should be allocated entirely to just one constituency.

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The Commission is opening an eight-week consultation on how constituency boundaries should be re-drawn but is clear the question of how many MPs should represent the country isn’t in its power, with the decision already taken by Parliament

At present Welsh constituencies have the same boundaries for Westminster and the Senedd but that link will be broken as the Senedd will continue to have one member elected to represent each of those 40 existing constituencies. 

The Commission said the reduction represents the “most significant change to Wales’s constituencies in a century". 

The new constituencies are due to come into force at the next general election. 

Members of the public are now being encouraged to set out whether they support or oppose the proposals.

Secretary to the Boundary Commission for Wales, Shereen Williams, said: “We’re confident that our proposals are a strong first attempt to create a workable map of 32 Welsh constituencies.

“The purpose of our initial proposals however is to start the conversation about how the new map will look.“Nobody will know your local area as well as you do, so get involved in the consultation and let us know your views.

“As we proceed with the review, we’re highly likely to make some changes to our proposals, so your responses to the consultation could make a significant difference.”

The new constituencies are due to come into force at the next UK general election.

Tory peer and polling expert Lord Hayward predicted they could result in two or three Tory losses, three or four Labour losses, and Plaid Cymru losing either one or two seats.

Lord Hayward said: “Two seats are particularly close to call, they are Carmarthen and Alyn and Deeside.”

He added that for the Conservatives and Labour “inevitably both parties face the possibility that two MPs of the same party will have to face off against each other because of the reduction of seats in Wales”.

Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader described the UK Government’s plan to reduce the number of Welsh MPs from 40 to 32 as “the most recent of steps on the Tory pathway to taking back control to Westminster”.

MP Liz Saville Roberts added: “Year after year the Tories have introduced changes to electoral arrangements that seek to tighten their grip on power.”

The new proposals and consultation portal are available on the Boundary Commission for Wales website.

The consultation period will close on November 3.

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