Redrawing the constituency map with a change of rules
This presentation is the property of its rightful owner.
Sponsored Links
1 / 43

REDRAWING THE CONSTITUENCY MAP – WITH A CHANGE OF RULES PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 39 Views
  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

REDRAWING THE CONSTITUENCY MAP – WITH A CHANGE OF RULES. Ron Johnston School of Geographical Sciences University of Bristol. THE GOVERNMENT’S PROPOSALS. Reduce the number of MPs by 7.7% (from 650 to 600 – was 585) - which necessitates

Download Presentation

REDRAWING THE CONSTITUENCY MAP – WITH A CHANGE OF RULES

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript


Redrawing the constituency map with a change of rules

REDRAWING THE CONSTITUENCY MAP – WITH A CHANGE OF RULES

Ron Johnston

School of Geographical Sciences

University of Bristol


The government s proposals

THE GOVERNMENT’S PROPOSALS

  • Reduce the number of MPs by 7.7% (from 650 to 600 – was 585) - which necessitates

  • Producing a totally new map of constituencies to be in place for general election in May 2015 - for which

  • The rules will be altered to give primacy to electoral equality.


What happened before

WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE?

Four Boundary Commissions

Each must review all constituencies within the

relevant ‘country’ every 8-12 years to ensure

that there is a reasonable fit to the rules then

in force (can conduct interim reviews for

particular areas)


The previous rules i

THE PREVIOUS RULES - I

  • The total number of constituencies in Great Britain shall be not ‘substantially greater’ than 613 (currently 632)

  • The number of constituencies in Wales shall not be less than 35 (currently 40)

  • The number of constituencies in Northern Ireland shall by 17, unless the Boundary Commission for NI thinks it should be 16 or 18 (currently 18)


The previous rules ii

THE PREVIOUS RULES - II

  • The number of constituencies in Scotland shall not be less than 71

    until

  • The Scotland Act 1998,

    • The 71-seat guarantee removed;

    • The next (i.e. 2004) review to use the same quota as England (resulted in 59 seats);

    • Orkney and Shetland (current electorate 33,085) must not be combined with any other area


The previous rules iii

THE PREVIOUS RULES – III

So far as is practicable

  • In England and Wales no constituency shall cross a county or London borough boundary

  • In Scotland regard shall be had to local government areas

  • In Northern Ireland no ward shall be divided between constituencies

    [For Wales, the counties are the pre-1995

    preserved counties’]


The previous rules iv

THE PREVIOUS RULES – IV

  • The electorate of any constituency shall be as near the electoral quota as is practicable

  • Electoral quota is

    National electorate/constituencies at previous review

  • This rule can be used to override the county and borough boundary rule if ‘excessive disparity between electorates of neighbouring constituencies’ would emerge


The previous rules v

THE PREVIOUS RULES – V

  • The previous rules can be over-ridden if ‘special geographical considerations ... in particular the size, shape and accessibility of a constituency’ render that desirable

  • Commissions should not give full effect to all preceding rules but shall take into account, as far as they reasonably can, of

    • the inconveniences change may create

    • Any local ties that may be broken


So what did the commissions do 1

SO WHAT DID THE COMMISSIONS DO - 1?

  • Calculate the electoral quota

  • Determine the number of constituencies for each local government area (or combined areas)

  • Produce provisionally recommended constituencies for each area

  • Receive representations and, if necessary, hold a Public Inquiry


So what did the commissions do 2

SO WHAT DID THE COMMISSIONS DO - 2?

5. Receive a report from the Assistant Commissioner

6. Change provisional recommendations and re-consult

7.Maintain recommendations and report to Secretary of State


And how long did it take

AND HOW LONG DID IT TAKE?

  • Last review in England used electoral data for quota from 2000; reported in 2007

  • These were used for the first time at the 2010 general election, so were 10 years out-of-date

  • Size variations 2010

    Mean SD

    England71,8826,091

    Scotland65,4989,987

    Wales56,5456,501

    Northern Ireland63,1017,159


Large local variations

LARGE LOCAL VARIATIONS

2000 2010

  • Islington (2000 entitlement 1.71 – quota 69,935)

    • Islington North61,05468,120

    • Islington South58,83967,649

  • Brent & Camden (2000 entitlement 4.22)

    • Hampstead/Kilburn74,57379,713

    • Holborn/St Pancras78,30786,863


Why are the conservatives concerned about the size variations

WHY ARE THE CONSERVATIVES CONCERNED ABOUT THE SIZE VARIATIONS?

Mean electorates in seats won by different

parties

2001 2005 2010

Conservative72,13772,95073,031

Labour67,54466,80269,145

LibDem69,58469,43069,610


Redrawing the constituency map with a change of rules

AND

Seats:Votes Ratios

2001 2005 2010

Conservative50,62544,516 35,028

Labour26,11126,921 33,468

LibDem96,28796,485119,780

[BUT – that includes turnout variations too]


How disadvantaged are the conservatives

HOW DISADVANTAGED ARE THE CONSERVATIVES?

Bias and its Components

2005 2005E 2010

TOTAL1129454

Electorate size261918

Between countries 6 6 9

Within countries2013 9

Abstentions383831

Third parties 9 8 4

Efficiency3534 0


So the conservatives want to get rid of the size bias against them

SO THE CONSERVATIVES WANT TO GET RID OF THE SIZE BIAS AGAINST THEM

The new Bill proposes?

  • Fixed number of MPs (600)

  • Size the predominant criterion, with a 5%+/- variation only, with two exceptions


How will it work

HOW WILL IT WORK?

  • Allocate constituencies to the four countries

  • Allocate constituencies within countries

  • Delimit constituencies within countries, within the size constraint

  • Public consultation


Apportionment and its problems

APPORTIONMENT AND ITS PROBLEMS

Entitlements with 585 seats (2010 electorates)

England38,241,036491.63492

Northern Ireland 1,135,835 14.60 15

Scotland 3,864,416 49.69 50

Wales 2,261,816 29.08 29

TOTAL45,503,103 585586

Quota 77,783


Apportioning 600

APPORTIONING 600

Current electorates

England38,241,036504.24504

N Ireland 1,135,835 14.98 15

Scotland 3,864,416 50.96 51

Wales 2,261,816 29.82 30

TOTAL45,503,103600

Quota 75,839


Who apportions and what rules

WHO APPORTIONS, AND WHAT RULES?

  • D’Hondt or Sainte-Lague?

    With 585

    • D’H E 492, NI 14, S 50, W 29

    • S-L E 491, NI 15, S 50, W 29

  • Who decides – the four Commissions together? The Electoral Commission?


Redrawing the constituency map with a change of rules

BUT

Guaranteed seats for

Orkney & Shetland (33,085)

Western Isles(22,226)

Should they be within Scotland’s allocation,

which would mean 49 seats for 3,809,105,

which would be an average electorate of 77,737

instead of 75,839 – should the 5% band be

around that figure? (i.e. Scotland 73,851-81,623 and

England 72,082-79,630)


Redrawing the constituency map with a change of rules

OR

Should those two seats be outside the

general allocation – reducing that to 598

seats, which would give

England503.17503

N Ireland 14.95 15

Scotland 50.12 50+2

Wales 29.76 30

598


Redrawing the constituency map with a change of rules

AND

Guarantee that no seat will be larger than the

largest now – refers to size not electorate;

13,000 sq km (or is it 30,000?!)

Northern Scotland – other than two reserved

areas

Ross, Skye & Lochaber51,836

Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross47,257


What about the isle of wight

WHAT ABOUT THE ISLE OF WIGHT?

Electorate 109,966

Should it be retained as a single, large

constituency or should c.30,000 voters

be allocated to a constituency in

Hampshire?


Allocations within countries

ALLOCATIONS WITHIN COUNTRIES

Former procedure – counties etc considered

separately save in some cases of major discrepancies

(London and Mets) not feasible because of the 5%

constraint

Most units not close to the integer

Cornwall5.52Devon11.49

Somerset5.31Dorset 7.56

Wiltshire6.54


Redrawing the constituency map with a change of rules

SO

Commissions will probably have to operate

ad hoc, finding groups of counties etc. that

have entitlements so that all constituencies

will be within the 5% constraint

Should they publish these first?

Could they be contested – alternative

configurations?


Would regions work

WOULD REGIONS WORK?

England

Northeast25.78Northwest69.23

Yorkshire/Humber50.40East56.19

East Midlands44.06West Midlands53.97

London69.43Southeast82.28

Southwest52.90

  • Poor fits in some cases

  • Too big to handle as one – need to be subdivided


Creating the constituencies

CREATING THE CONSTITUENCIES

Wards always used as the building blocks,

and Clegg said he wishes to retain that.

BUT this may not be feasible in some

(many?) areas because they are too large

relative to the size constraint (i.e.+/- c.4000

around the quota)


Scotland and northern ireland

SCOTLAND AND NORTHERN IRELAND

Local government wards large because multi-

member (STV used in local elections)

Scottish Commission had to break wards in a

number of cases in recent redistribution of 73

Scottish Parliament constituencies (under old

rules) – one constituency (Edinburgh Southern)

comprises 6 part-wards only


Metropolitan areas

METROPOLITAN AREAS

  • Birmingham – electorate 741,286 in 40 wards, average 18,352

  • Sheffield - electorate 383,989 in 28 wards, average (13,713)

    seat entitlement 5; but 3 with 6 wards each and 2 with 5 each would not fit into the 5% constraint; each constituency would need to be c5.5 wards!


Smaller building blocks

SMALLER BUILDING BLOCKS?

  • Polling districts – subdivisions of wards for administrative purposes; variable in size etc; no statutory basis; no mapping; subject to change

  • Postcodes – administrative; no fit with wards; frequent change; errors; no mapping (except Scotland)

  • Census output areas – nest into wards; but population and dated

  • Parishes – not urban areas!


A welsh example

A welsh example

Lewis Baston and OwainLlyrap Gareth (for ERS

Wales) attempted to define 30 constituencies

using the new quota and +/-5%

Eleven of them involved splitting council

electoral divisions (i.e. wards) – including two

of the three proposed Cardiff constituencies

and both in Swansea


Solution

SOLUTION?

Commissions will have to take ad hoc decisions,

perhaps not using any defined areas (as for

Scottish Parliament, 2010)

BUT

What happens if in public consultation

interested parties want to suggest other

configurations with different splitting of wards?

What data? What software? (Scottish example)

Issue could become very difficult to control


Public consultation

PUBLIC CONSULTATION

Current rules:

  • Provisional recommendations published

  • Four weeks for representations (not Cabinet Office recommended 12)

  • If either 100 separate objections or one from an affected local authority – Public Inquiry

  • Assistant Commissioner’s report

  • Commission either maintain original recommendations or proposes alterations

  • Consultation again (could be second Inquiry) –even if only name changes


Redrawing the constituency map with a change of rules

TIME

On average it took over a year from publication

to final decisions being published in last English

review – total time taken 18 months each?

BUT

Bill requires it all to be done within three years


Options

OPTIONS?

  • Eliminate public consultation?!

  • Eliminate Public Inquiries – give 12 weeks for written representations

  • Increase Commission staffs and (in England at least) number of Commissioners


Issues for the representations inquiries

ISSUES FOR THE REPRESENTATIONS/INQUIRIES

  • If size is the predominant criterion that the Commissions have to apply, will any alternative scheme have to be at least as good on that criterion, or will it be acceptable if it fits within the size constraint?

  • What other criteria can be applied –

    • Local ties

    • Not changing unnecessarily

    • Special geographical considerations

    • Better fit with local authority areas and wards?


Frequency of reviews

FREQUENCY OF REVIEWS?

If keeping within 5%+/- bounds predominant,

then a redistribution every Parliament might be

logical (if unpopular with MPs) – fixed-term

Parliaments makes this feasible.

Interim reviews of particular constituencies or

areas hardly feasible – spillover effects and fixed

number of MPs


Use electoral forecasts

USE ELECTORAL FORECASTS?

  • Linked to frequency of reviews

  • Very difficult (LGBCE experience)


What do the coalition conservatives expect

WHAT DO THE COALITION (CONSERVATIVES) EXPECT?

Labour will lose their advantage because no

longer winning in smaller seats on average

LibDems could lose out because some of their

pockets of support small – larger could

disadvantage them. But many contiguous

pockets and increase in average constituency not

that great


And what would be the impact

AND WHAT WOULD BE THE IMPACT?

2010

Conservative306297

Labour258223

Liberal Democrat 57 53

Other (incl. NI) 29 27

650600

Estimate that compared to what would happen if

number of seats just reduced by 7.7% for each party, a

further 15 seats change from Labour to Conservative; no

change LibDems or other


Add in av

ADD IN AV??!?

2010 = AV? AV&=

Con306297283261276

Lab258223248229214

LibDem 57 53 89 82 82

Other 29 27 30 28 28

650600650600600

BUT – what if preference allocations change at next

election reflecting ‘success’ or ‘failure’ of coalition?


Knock on effects

KNOCK-ON EFFECTS

  • Welsh Assembly currently same number of FPTP constituencies as there are HoC constituencies, plus half that number in five regional lists, so will be reduced from current 60 AMs to 45.

  • Northern Ireland Assembly six members for every Parliamentary constituency – fall from 108 to 90.

  • Amending legislation?


  • Login