Thursday, 15 September 2011

New constituency boundaries “bizarre”

Mike O’Brien the former Minister, who is Labour’s spokesman in North Warwickshire, has described the new constituency boundary proposals for the county, which was announced today, as “bizarre”.

Mike said,

“The new North Warwickshire boundary transfers three wards, Coleshill north, Coleshill South and Water Orton into Meriden constituency; then adds Weddington ward from Nuneaton into North Warwickshire constituency as compensation. This is all quite bizarre. Although, I concede that it is sensible for the wards of Hartshill and Arley and Whitacre to be returned to the new North Warwickshire constituency, where they were before 2010.

“Political balance is not the point because based on the local council election results this year and last year on the new constituency boundaries, Labour would have polled 20,156 votes and the Tories 15,367 votes and the constituency would have a Labour MP. The problem is that these proposals ignore community links in favour of a numbers game.

“The obvious solution would have been to recognise local links and put all of North Warwickshire Borough into one new constituency with Bedworth, then keep all of Nuneaton together in one constituency with Bulkington. It recognises local links and the numbers are close. Instead, Warwickshire goes from 6 to 5 constituencies, plus a couple of bits in constituencies in Solihull.

“There was no need for this boundary reorganisation. The last one was in 2010. It will cost millions of pounds in a stunt to gain political advantage for the Tory Party in other parts of the country. Some bright spark in Conservative Central office spotted that if they cut the number of MP’s to 600 and increased constituency sizes whilst ignoring local links they would gain about 20 seats over all. So they passed a law telling the Boundary Commission that they had to reorganise by playing the numbers game. 600 constituencies with each MP having much the same number of voters, irrespective of local ties.

“But now the chickens are coming home to roost. Rather foolish Lib Dem MP’s can see they will lose seats to the Tories and a lot of MP’s of all parties will have to look elsewhere for a seat because some constituencies have been abolished. I predict some Tory MP’s will now begin to realise the price of messing with the system like this and they may decide not to approve the new boundaries before the next General Election.”

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