Wednesday, 30 November 2016

My alternative constituencies: North Yorkshire

I am nearly at the end of my series of alternative constituencies for the 2018 Boundary Review, and the last England-focused section will be on North Yorkshire.

Although I agree with the general structure of the changed constituencies, and with keeping York Outer and York Central essentially intact, I feel it is best if 'Ainsty' (a wapentake which has in fact not existed for centuries) is separated from Selby within Selby & Ainsty, and returned to Harrogate & Knaresborough. Selby does not look northwards within a Yorkshire context (but rather eastwards to Hull or westwards to Leeds) and should never have been moved into the area covered by North Yorkshire County Council. Since few real changes of any kind are needed in North Yorkshire, and since separating Thirsk & Malton (which are not really connected to each other) is not possible within this review, there is little else to say here.

My alternative constituencies for North Yorkshire look like this:


Richmond & Northallerton succeeds Richmond (Yorks). Although similar to the current Richmond (Yorks) constituency, a name change is needed due to Northallerton being larger than Richmond and being in a different district.
York Outer and York Central are unchanged apart from a few internal ward boundary adjustments. I would not normally support an 'outer/central' approach for a two seat constituency but the particular way the City of York has grown merits an exception, and thus the keeping of the approach used when each of these constituencies was first created for the 2010 general election.

The Richmond Park by-election poll takes place tomorrow, so I will cover alternative constituencies for Scotland and Northern Ireland after that is finished.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

My alternative constituencies: West Yorkshire

West Yorkshire has overall the second-largest ward sizes in the UK, with most wards having 11,000 to 13,000 electors each, and in Leeds' case sometimes as many as 17,000.  This makes ward splitting a necessity in several parts of this highly urbanised part of Britain for the purposes of creating sensible constituencies. Connectivity is vital.

I believe it is best if the city of Leeds and 'Leeds Outer' are separated as much as possible for creating new constituencies. However, the area once covered by the county borough of Leeds before 1974 (i.e. the city of Leeds and not towns like Morley, Otley, or Pudsey) is not quite the correct size for creating a whole number of sensible constituencies entirely within Leeds, so a few outer parts of the city of Leeds will have to share territory with Leeds' suburbs (which are still civil parishes). Otley and Morley can have their own suburban/semi-rural constituencies to themselves, just like those places making up the current Elmet & Rothwell. The same should happen with Bradford (which has a similar problem to Leeds in this regard), with the small town of Queensbury being paired with Halifax and reunited with Shelf, with which it formed an urban district from 1935-1974.

Many of the changes seem rather drastic and unnecessary, or at least need some tweaking. Elmet & Rothwell being unchanged, Huddersfield adding Lindley ward, and Leeds East adding Burmantofts & Richmond Hill ward are the only BCE initial proposals I approve of in this area. It is easier on the Wakefield district if Normanton, Pontefract & Castleford was kept intact, if Wakefield was reunited (Ossett is not needed as it is actually a separate community), and if Hemsworth was changed to be in quota and take in no part of the actual city of Wakefield. This can be done by substituting Wakefield South for Wakefield Rural in Hemsworth's case. Ossett, meanwhile, can be paired with Dewsbury leaving Batley & Spen unchanged. I do appreciate the merits of both but to ease the situation in Leeds and Bradford, it is better if Batley & Spen was left intact.

My alternative constituencies for West Yorkshire are therefore:



Leeds West is abolished.
Leeds North West is abolished.
Brighouse & Sowerby succeeds Calder Valley. Within Town ward of Calderdale it contains polling district RD, comprising the village of Southowram, making its actual electorate 76,952.
Halifax & Queensbury succeeds Halifax. Within Town ward of Calderdale it loses polling district RD, making its actual electorate 77,593.
Shipley & Bradford North succeeds Shipley, taking in more of the actual city of Bradford. Within Bingley Rural ward it loses polling districts 3A, 3G, and 3H (comprising the area by Halifax Road), making its actual electorate 77,767 and the changed Keighley's new electorate 71,981 (apart from gaining these 3 polling districts, Keighley retains its current boundaries).
Bradford West actually succeeds Bradford South in practice; the old Bradford West seat is effectively abolished in this plan.
Morley succeeds Morley & Outwood. The Outwood part moves to Wakefield.
Leeds North succeeds Leeds North East. Within Kirkstall ward it contains polling districts KIB and KID which are both east of the railway line going via Horsforth, making its actual electorate 74,228 and the changed Pudsey's new electorate 77,945.
Leeds South succeeds Leeds Central.
Elmet & Rothwell, Batley & Spen, and Normanton, Pontefract & Castleford are all unchanged.
Otley is a new seat comprising Leeds' northern suburbs and the village of Wharfedale. Most of this seat was part of the old Ripon constituency from 1950 to 1983.

Monday, 28 November 2016

My alternative constituencies: South East Yorkshire

The first part of the Yorkshire section of my series of alternative constituencies for the 2018 Review of Parliamentary Constituencies will focus on how I have successfully managed to separate 'the Humber' from South and East Yorkshire and also restore proper links.

The Selby district is much better connected to South and East Yorkshire than it is to North Yorkshire, having been in the West Riding of Yorkshire before 1974. The same applies to the town of Goole, which has no true links with either North Lincolnshire or East Yorkshire. Much of the old Goole constituency outside of Goole ended up forming an integral part of the current Doncaster North!

Now that Sheffield's electorate has shrunk, it is more practicable to have five whole constituencies entirely in Sheffield, and thus to separate Penistone and Stocksbridge. It is worth saying that Stocksbridge should not be combined with Hallam, when it is far better kept with Ecclesfield (which like Stocksbridge has its own parish council), and that Stannington ward should be removed from Sheffield Hallam, which it was not a part of until 2010. Meanwhile, Sheffield Brightside and Sheffield Hillsborough should be separated and largely restored to their previous forms.

Kingston-Upon-Hull, like many medium-sized cities in the UK, has seen substantial expansion into many small towns and villages surrounding it, and in Hull's case that means the Haltemprice area (Cottingham, Hessle, Willerby and Kirk Ella). It is notable that all of these villages have much better road links with Hull than they do with each other, so I do not believe the Boundary Commission's initial version of Kingston-Upon-Hull West & Haltemprice is appropriate even though it is on the right track. Instead, Cottingham should be added to the current Hull North, Hull East should only add Myton ward, and Hull West & Hessle can expand further into Hull's suburbs. This also minimises change in the Hull constituencies. Uniting large towns is also an important factor, hence my creation of revived Barnsley and Doncaster constituencies.

My alternative constituencies for South East Yorkshire are:



Haltemprice & Howden is abolished. Like Mid Dorset & North Poole, it is another victim of increasing urban expansion.
Barnsley East is abolished.
Wentworth & Dearne is abolished.
Sheffield Heeley is abolished.
Selby & Howden succeeds Selby & Ainsty.
Barnsley succeeds Barnsley Central.
Sheffield Gleadless succeeds Sheffield South East.
Sheffield Brightside succeeds Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough. It also has polling districts WC, WF and WG from Southey ward, making its actual electorate 74,866.
Sheffield Hillsborough succeeds Penistone & Stocksbridge in practice, restoring the pre-2010 Sheffield Hillsborough constituency. It loses polling districts WC, WF, and WG from Southey ward, making its actual electorate 77,690.
The changed Sheffield Hallam gains polling districts PB, PD, PE, and PF from Graves Park ward, meaning the changed Sheffield Hallam's actual electorate is 75,894 and the changed Sheffield Central's actual electorate is 76,286.
The changed Rotherham constituency contains polling districts JE and JH from Rawmarsh ward, comprising the Rotherham suburb of Parkgate, making its new electorate 73,041 and the changed Don Valley's new electorate 78,037.
Dearne Valley succeeds Doncaster North in practice.
Doncaster succeeds Doncaster Central.
Bridlington has the same boundaries as the current East Yorkshire constituency; the constituency was called Bridlington prior to 1997 and the East Yorkshire epithet was never appropriate, given that East Yorkshire is a whole part of Yorkshire, not merely a district of it.
Beverley & Holderness and Rother Valley are unchanged.
Penistone is a new seat although it is similar to the Barnsley West & Penistone constituency of 1983-2010.
Goole is a new seat that largely restores the old Goole constituency of 1950-83.






Sunday, 27 November 2016

My alternative constituencies: Wales

Moving away from England, we move to the nation where a considerable proprtion of my distant ancestors come from: Wales (or Cymru if you know Cymraeg/Welsh, which I do to some extent)

Wales is sadly the most hard done-by in this review, given that it now has to adapt to the English electoral quota when it did not need to do so before (partly because the mountainous and rural nature of much of Wales, combined with relatively poor road connections outside Glamorgan and Gwent, makes large rural constituencies unviable in many cases). It stands to lose 11 constituencies out of 40, varying substantially in size from Arfon (37,733 electors) to Cardiff South & Penarth (72,392, the only in-quota constituency of the 40), and no constituency will survive entirely unchanged. Many smaller constituencies in north Wales (Gwynedd and Clwyd) are not so much abolished as mostly absorbed into (most of) another constituency, Arfon being the clearest case in point.

Each new constituency must be drawn carefully so that proper links can be maintained; luckily the only large wards are in the Welsh capital, Cardiff/Caerdydd and in Swansea/Abertawe. This is particularly problematic in Gogledd Cymru (North Wales), where transport links are poorer (although rural railway lines in Wales overall are much more extensive than those in England; many rural railway lines in England are long since gone by comparison due to the foolish and short-sighted Beeching Axe).

Surprisingly, many of the initial proposals from the BCE in the South of Wales (corresponding to the ancient kingdoms of Glamorgan and Gwent) are rather good, considering the circumstances they have to work in, with some tweaks needed here and there. Cardiff South and East should merely be Cardiff South East and should be closer to the 1950-83 constituency of the same name, and Cardiff North should stay entirely in Cardiff. Reuniting the city of Newport and moving Blackwood into Blaenau Gwent is another idea I approve of.

However, in the north and west, much work needs to be done. Swansea East should not have to extend into Aberavon at all; Aberavon and Abertawe are clearly separate and should remain so. This means Swansea East should absorb the parts of Swansea West that are actually in Swansea, and thus create a united Swansea constituency. No part of Powys should be included in any Dyfed constituency, either, as these two areas lack any real shared interest. Many general ideas (recreating Ceredigion & Pembroke North, reuniting most of Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire) should nonetheless stand. Ironically, despite the major changes caused by adaptation to the new quotas, recreating some old constituencies is possible, namely the old Flintshire constituencies (Rhyl and Prestatyn are really in Flintshire, not Denbighshire), and Denbigh. It is worth saying that Ynys Mon, as an island constituency, should have been protected under the 2011 Act as the Isle of Wight, Na h-Eilanan an lar and Orkney & Shetland were, because even though it has a well-used connection via the Menai Bridge it is still separate enough culturally and socially to merit the same protection as other large islands not on the British mainland. Sadly this is not the case, so it will have to expand across said Menai Bridge to the city of Bangor, shifting the rest of Caernarfon into an expanded version of Dwyfor Meirionydd, which Gogledd Sir Faldwyn (northern Montgomeryshire) is better connected to than any part of old Denbighshire. It is another case of 'follow the railway line' which from Welshpool will go all the way to Pwlhelli in the south of Meirionydd. The same should be applied with regards to redrawing the Conwy area and old Denbigh.

Therefore, my alternative constituencies for Wales look like this:



Aberavon is abolished, with the entirety of Port Talbot itself being absorbed by Ogmore.
Arfon is abolished, although it is small enough to be mostly absorbed into Ynys Mon rather than completely split up.
Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire is abolished with both parts returning to their constituent counties where they actually belong.
Cardiff Central is abolished.
Clwyd West is abolished.
Clwyd South is abolished.
Delyn is abolished.
Islwyn is abolished.
Montgomeryshire is abolished.
Newport East is abolished.
Pontypridd is abolished.
Swansea West is abolished. The proportion actually in the city of Swansea is absorbed by Swansea East, with the rural area being absorbed by Gower.
Monmouthshire succeeds Monmouth.
Newport succeeds Newport West, reuniting the city of Newport proper into one constituency for the first time since 1979.
Blaenau Gwent & Blackwood succeeds Blaenau Gwent.
Pontypool succeeds Torfaen; it extends outside the authority of Torfaen and thus should revert back to Pontypool, the name it bore until 1983.
Cardiff South East succeeds Cardiff South, recreating the old Cardiff South East constituency of 1950-83.
Barry & Penarth succeeds the Vale of Glamorgan. Although very similar to the old Barry constituency, Penarth is large enough to be included in the constituency name.
Bridgend & Llantwit succeeds Bridgend.
Ogmore & Aberavon succeeds Ogmore.
Aberdare & Pontypridd succeeds Cynon Valley.
Rhondda & Llantrisant succeeds Rhondda.
Abertawe succeeds Swansea East; note I have used the Cymraeg name for Swansea.
Caerfyrddin succeeds Carmarthen East & Dinefwr, reuniting most of northern Caerfyrddin (Llanelli covers the southern half) again. Dinefwr no longer exists for any official purpose so the name is no longer needed in a constituency.
Pembroke succeeds Preseli Pembrokeshire in practice, reuniting the majority of Sir Benfro. A small western part of Caerfyrddin (Laugharne, specifically) had to be added to it due to electoral quota requirements.
Ceredigion & Fishguard succeeds Ceredigion, effectively recreating Ceredigion & Pembroke North/Ceredigion & Gogledd Sir Benfro.
Brecon, Radnor & Montgomery succeeds Brecon & Radnorshire.
Meirionydd a Trallwng succeeds Dwyfor Meirionydd; (Y) Trallwng is the Welsh name for Welshpool, the largest town in northern Montgomeryshire.
Ynys Mon a Caernarfon succeeds Ynys Mon, taking most of (northern) Caernarfon(shire) in addition to the island of Ynys Mon.
Conwy succeeds Aberconwy, covering most of the Conwy County Borough. Aberconwy no longer exists for any administrative purpose and therefore should be retired as a constituency name.
East Flintshire succeeds Alyn & Deeside and is an exact replica of the 1950-83 constituency of East Flintshire.
West Flintshire succeeds Vale of Clwyd in practice by recreating the 1950-83 constituency of West Flintshire.
Denbigh is a new seat, although it largely replicates the Denbigh constituency of 1918-83.







Saturday, 26 November 2016

My tribute to Fidel Castro

Yesterday, Fidel Castro, who was President of Cuba from 1959 to 2008 and a revolutionary icon to so many, died.

Fidel first came to fame when he ousted notorious, US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista at the end of 1958, taking office in January 1959. He then instituted a Marxist-Leninist system on Cuba, which instantly attracted hostility from the USA and other nations on the western side of the Berlin Wall, resulting in the USA imposing a trade embargo from 1962 onwards and the CIA making no less than 638 failed and rather bizarre attempts to assassinate him, which notably included poisoning Fidel's cigars and exploding seashells in his face.

Cut off from the USA, and after the USSR's collapse in 1991 aid from Russia, Cuba under Fidel displayed so much ingenuity to keep itself afloat, such as keeping the old 'Yank tanks' alive in Havana with old Lada engines and mechanical parts from old Moskviches, and assorted replacement parts made purely from scrap metal and anything remotely usable. Cuba, even after Fidel ceded power to his brother, Raoul, has been able to maintain an excellent health service and well-trained doctors in spite of crippling poverty in many other ways, especially outside Havana. It also made education at all levels free for its entire population, albeit with political indoctrination attached.

However, Cuba under the Castros has been by no means without glaring faults. Anti-Communist opposition by any means in Cuba is still not permitted and many numerous human rights violations take place in Cuba, especially the torture of political prisoners and harassment and persecution of human rights activists. Art of all kinds that is 'contrary to the revolution' in any fashion is outlawed. Basic freedoms like the right to demonstrate and express freely are almost outlawed in Cuba. Some things, especially travel restrictions on entering and leaving Cuba and LGBT rights, have eased slightly since Raoul took office, but Cuba has a long way to go in terms of being considered respectful of basic human rights overall, and it has made no amends for its previous crimes in that sense.

Nevertheless, Fidel Castro, who made friends with more democratic but no less revolutionary and forward thinking figures around the world like Nelson Mandela, has proven, like his friend Che Guevara, a revolutionary inspiration to so many people around the world, for his to desire to rebel against the way things were and are, his inspiration of young people in particular, his different ways of thinking, and his willingness to challenge the uncaring ideology that is capitalism. He will be missed by many just as his legacy will be scorned by many, and I have written this poem to mark his passing:

Adios Fidel,
Revolucionario de antano,
Inspirador de jovenes rebeldes,
Y de los que haldan cambio.

En sus noventa antos,
Usted via tanto de
La mano oscura
De  las fuerzas de codicia.

Usted lucho, lo intent
Para matarte,
Pero usted se aseguro,
Para evader culaquier
Cosa que pudiera
Lanzar.

El golpe de todo asesino extrano...

Asi que, adios camarada,
Por tu tiempo, como todo
Debe terminar.

In memory of Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, revolutionary leader of Cuba, born 13 August 1926, who departed this life on 25 November 2016, aged 90 years.




Friday, 25 November 2016

My alternative constituencies: Warwickshire

As I move into the final part of the West Midlands section of my series of alternative constituencies, I can tell you that the deadline to electronically submit alternative proposals to the Boundary Commission for England regarding the 2018 review is 5 December, just 10 days from now.

Making a total mess of Meriden and Solihull, however awkward the Meriden constituency looks, is not appropriate or necessary; the Solihull constituency forms a distinct community and should be left alone. The ward split in Meriden should happen at the edge and the spare polling district should go to the (expanded) North Warwickshire constituency, which formed a substantial part of the pre-1983 constituency of Meriden (it had 98,914 electors in 1979!). It is more appropriate to pair Kenilworth with a  Coventry constituency (since Coventry does not have quite enough electors for three constituencies on its own) since Bedworth is too large to fit into a Coventry constituency and Kenilworth has good links with Coventry (and certainly better links than with Rugby or Southam).

It is also clear that Warwick and Leamington are inextricably entwined, and therefore should never be separated when drawing new constituencies, Nor should any part of rural Warwickshire be combined with a Worcestershire constituency as I have said earlier; expanding the existing Warwickshire constituencies so that they are close to the maximum electorate limit, but not over it, is possible when done carefully.

My alternative constituencies for Warwickshire (& Solihull & Coventry) look like this:


Kenilworth & Southam is abolished.
Coventry East succeeds Coventry North East.
Coventry South West & Kenilworth succeeds Coventry South.
West Warwickshire succeeds Meriden and is in fact identical to Meriden but with polling district ME01 of Meriden ward removed from it, making its actual electorate 76,360 and the changed North Warwickshire's new electorate 76,516. This constituency actually covers a wide variety of communities, and therefore the Meriden name is not appropriate.
Solihull is unchanged.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

My alternative constituencies: Birmingham and the Black Country

The 'Greater Birmingham' area, aka the West Midlands conurbation aka the Black Country area, is the most difficult area in terms of drawing sensible constituencies in the whole of England.

Part of the problem lies with what happened in redrawing Birmingham's constituencies for the 2010 election. The reduction from 11 seats to 10 (9 if you exclude Sutton Coldfield, really a separate community in its own right) was largely caused by a shrinking population in central and southern Birmingham. This caused many of the southern Birmingham constituencies to end up being formed of areas with few proper attachments to each other; the current Birmingham Hall Green is really Birmingham Sparkbrook with the Hall Green ward attached; the current Birmingham Selly Oak has two-thirds of the pre-2010 Hall Green and lacks Moseley & King's Heath, which had been paired with Selly Oak itself for decades in constituency terms. The northern Birmingham constituencies (Edgbaston, Perry Barr, and Erdington) fared much better in the last review by comparison.

The Black Country area, which most strongly identifies with the city of Birmingham, includes the four large boroughs of Wolverhampton (also a city, technically), Walsall, Dudley, and Sandwell. It alone stands to lose 2 seats out its current 13, with Birmingham losing 1 seat out of 9 outside Sutton Coldfield, which the Boundary Commission has wisely chosen to leave unchanged, and so it should be.

The size of the council wards in this area of Britain presents serious challenges for creating new constituencies; Birmingham has the largest wards in Britain, larger than even those of Leeds, making ward splitting practically inevitable. However, sensible and minimal ward splits can be carried out when done properly, not only in Birmingham but also Dudley. It is particularly important that natural communities are kept together (there are many small towns in the Black Country) even if this means that ward splits occur somewhere. Had the allowed deviance from the average electoral quota been 10% as opposed to 5%, we would not have this problem.

I have sadly not been able to find a solution which avoids one Birmingham ward being transferred to a constituency based in Sandwell, but using sensible ward splitting I have been able to find a solution which avoids ridiculous combinations like 'Birmingham Selly Oak & Halesowen' and a redrawn version of Birmingham Edgbaston with Sparkbrook ward in it. There are pairs of wards among Birmingham's 40 which should never be separated from each other within the drawing of any new Birmingham constituency, and these are they:

1. Billesley and Brandwood.
2. Springfield and Sparkbrook.
3. Stetchford & Yardley North and South Yardley.
4. Longbridge and Northfield.
5. Harborne and Edgbaston.
6. Selly Oak and Bournville.

Also, it should be clear that any Birmingham constituency involving crossing the M6 motorway should not do so in the east of Birmingham, only in the west.

With these in mind, restoring some old Birmingham constituencies (in expanded form) is possible when done carefully; Hall Green should be reunited with Billesley and Brandwood, and Moseley & Kings Heath should be returned to a Selly Oak constituency, or at least one containing the main parts of Selly Oak. Since Birmingham Erdington is under quota and can realistically only add (part of) Oscott ward, this essentially necessitates Aston ward being separated from Nechells and combined with the current Perry Barr, thus reviving a new version of the pre-1983 constituency of Birmingham Handsworth.  The shrinking population in the centre of Birmingham, coupled with the fact that of the outer Birmingham wards, only Quinton is suitable for transfer to a Sandwell-based constituency (it does not contain major Birmingham landmarks, which Soho ward does, for example). This in turn effectively forces the merger of the main Edgbaston area with the main area of Selly Oak, with which Edgbaston has more common interests than Ladywood.

In the four Black Country boroughs, a complete redrawing of the map is really needed outside Wolverhampton, where both Wolverhampton South West and Wolverhampton North East can simply expand to the point where the town of Bilston can be removed from the area for constituency purposes, and given back its own constituency. The same can happen with Wednesbury; the town of West Bromwich itself is entirely in the current West Bromwich East; the current 'West Bromwich West' contains no part of the actual town mentioned in the constituency name but is rather 'Wednesbury & Tipton', in the same way that Warley should be called Smethwick. This is the only constituency any outer Birmingham ward should be added to.

My alternative constituencies for the Greater Birmingham area therefore look like this:

 
 
 
 
Birmingham Edgbaston is abolished.

Wolverhampton South East is abolished.
Walsall North is abolished.
Dudley North is abolished.
West Bromwich West is abolished.
Birmingham Ladywood & Sparkbrook succeeds Birmingham Ladywood. Within Springfield ward it loses polling district DEE to Birmingham Yardley and polling districts DEG, DEH, and DEI to a new version of Birmingham Hall Green, making its actual electorate 77,840 and the changed Birmingham Yardley's new electorate 74,068.
Birmingham Hall Green succeeds Birmingham Selly Oak in practice in this incarnation. The current version of Birmingham Hall Green, really 'Birmingham Hall Green & Sparkbrook', is abolished in this plan, and in my opinion deserves to be. This plan for Birmingham Hall Green essentially restores the pre-2010 version of Birmingham Hall Green (albeit with King's Norton ward also included) and contains polling districts DEG, DEH, and DEI from Springfield ward, making its real electorate 74,700.
Birmingham Handsworth succeeds Birmingham Perry Barr, recreating the 1974-83 constituency of the same name (albeit with Perry Barr and parts of Oscott attached). It contains polling districts CVE, CVG and CVJ of Oscott ward, meaning its actual electorate is 72,624. The changed Birmingham Erdington's electorate is therefore 75,068.
Smethwick succeeds Warley.
Wolverhampton West succeeds Wolverhampton South West.
Wolverhampton East succeeds Wolverhampton North East.
Aldridge, Brownhills, and Bloxwich succeeds Aldridge-Brownhills.
Walsall succeeds Walsall South, taking in all of the main town of Walsall.
West Bromwich succeeds West Bromwich East.
Dudley succeeds Dudley South. It contains polling district X01 of Quarry Bank & Dudley Wood ward, making its actual electorate 72,016 and the changed Stourbridge's new electorate 78,458.
Birmingham Hodge Hill and Sutton Coldfield are both unchanged.
Bilston, Wednesbury, and Birmingham Edgbaston & Selly Oak are all new seats. Bilston is a recreation of a constituency of the same name from 1950-74, albeit with Tipton also included. Wednesbury is a near-exact replica of the 1950-74 version of the old Wednesbury constituency. Birmingham Edgbaston & Selly Oak combines most of the 1983-97 version of Birmingham Edgbaston with the 1983-97 version of Birmingham Selly Oak. Note that the changed Birmingham Northfield takes in polling district CFD from Bournville ward which is south of Middleton Hall Road, making Birmingham Edgbaston & Selly Oak's real electorate 78,416 and the changed Birmingham Northfield's new electorate 71,333.













Wednesday, 23 November 2016

My alternative constituencies: Staffordshire

Within the West Midlands, Staffordshire also loses one seat but many of its existing constituencies will endure no real change during the process.

The lost seat should not be Stoke-on-Trent Central, for little modification is needed for Stoke-on-Trent North; Kidsgrove, currently in the authority of Newcastle-under-Lyme, really belongs to Stoke-on-Trent, as does Newchapel. The border between Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stoke is now increasingly blurred but the further outwards you go from the centres of both places, the easier it is to tell which area a suburb is attached to. Stoke-on-Trent Central should instead expand southwards, since no wards need to be removed from it although adjustments for internal ward boundary changes must be accounted for. The constituency that actually merits abolition is Stone, due to its rather incoherent nature and the fact its area is easier for other constituencies to expand into; part of it is better connected with Leek anyway. Stone itself cannot be absorbed into an expanded Stafford constituency because a hypothetical Stafford & Stone constituency would exceed the maximum electorate limit by as much as 12,000 electors. At any rate, there is no need for either constituency within the district of Stafford to include any part of Newcastle-under-Lyme, even its rural areas. One advantage of the parameters here is that the expanded Staffordshire Moorlands constituency can now be coterminous with the authority it is named after.

My alternative constituencies for Staffordshire look like this:



Stone is abolished.
Stoke-on-Trent South & Stone succeeds Stoke-on-Trent South.
South West Staffordshire has the same boundaries as the current South Staffordshire; the name change reflects its true geographical position within Staffordshire and the fact it is not coterminous with the authority of the same name. In fact, this constituency has changed very little since 1974, apart from a few villages being moved into Stafford in 1997.
Cannock Chase, Burton, Tamworth, and Lichfield are all unchanged (apart from a few internal ward boundary adjustments in Tamworth's and Lichfield's cases).

Next in this series: Warwickshire.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

My alternative constituencies: West Mercia

I start the West Midlands section of my series of alternative constituencies with the counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, and Worcestershire, which together form a small region of their own that is rather distant from the main West Midlands; these three counties, sometimes known as West Mercia, are to the West Midlands what the Thames Valley is to the rest of South East England, and are certainly very different in character than the 'Greater Birmingham' conurbation, Staffordshire, or Warwickshire.

For the most part, the Boundary Commission's initial proposals for this small region are right on the ball generally, except that Evesham does not need to be linked with any part of Warwickshire in any way. Given that the current Bromsgrove constituency is in quota I was tempted to oppose the BCE's view and keep it unchanged. However, nearby Redditch needs to expand, and realistically it can only expand eastwards due to the lack of any available usable road links into the Wychavon district, which is quite badly made. Droitwich should have been paired with Bromsgrove in terms of local authorities, because its strongest connections are to Bromsgrove and to Worcester (Droitwich was part of the Worcester constituency from 1950 to 1983). Droitwich Spa certainly has no proper connection to Evesham at all. I therefore fully approve of Bromsgrove & Droitwich.

I sadly have not been able to find a means of saving the North Herefordshire constituency, formerly known as Leominster (which is still its most prominent town) due to the fact Herefordshire needs two cross-county constituencies instead of one due to Shropshire not being able to avoid having a cross-county constituency itself under current electorate numbers. However, some tweaks in Shropshire can be made to leave Shrewsbury unchanged and to make sure there is more coherence in the cross-county constituencies. Also, Wyre Forest should really be left unchanged (except in name terms; the Wyre Forest extends partly into Shropshire as well and the area is clearly dominated by the towns of Kidderminster and Stourport-on-Severn), given that it is coterminous with the local government area, rather rare for an existing constituency. Malvern & Ledbury should also contain no part of Mid Worcestershire (as the BCE has erroneously recommended)-it does not need that.

My alternative constituencies for the West Mercia area thus look like this:


North Herefordshire is abolished.
Bridgnorth & Wellington succeeds The Wrekin; it extends outside The Wrekin hence the name change.
Ludlow & Leominster succeeds Ludlow.
Hereford succeeds Hereford & South Herefordshire; the 'South Herefordshire' part is not needed in the constituency name especially as the Hereford constituency has included Ross-on-Wye since 1918 and in any case that district no longer exists.
Malvern & Ledbury succeeds West Worcestershire.
Bromsgrove & Droitwich succeeds Bromsgrove.
Evesham succeeds Mid Worcestershire and resembles the 1950-1997 South Worcestershire constituency (minus Malvern, of course).
Oswestry has the same boundaries as the current North Shropshire; Oswestry clearly dominates the constituency.
Shrewsbury has the same boundaries as the current Shrewsbury & Atcham; the Atcham moniker was never needed at all since Atcham is in fact a small village and the Shrewsbury constituency has not changed in composition in nearly 100 years.
Kidderminster & Stourport(-on-Severn) has the same boundaries as the current Wyre Forest constituency; see my notes above on why a name change is appropriate. Given the size of Stourport-on-Severn in relation to the constituency and therefore the district of Wyre Forest, I feel it is not fair to merely revert to the old name of Kidderminster even though Kidderminster has nearly treble the population of Stourport.

Next in this series: Staffordshire.






Monday, 21 November 2016

My alternative constituencies: Gloucestershire, Somerset, and Bristol

The final part of my alternative constituencies in South West England focuses on what was once called 'Avon' and the counties surrounding the city of Bristol i.e. Gloucestershire and Somerset.

The majority of the initial proposals are acceptable, although some tweaking needs to be done and some names need to be altered. There is no need to add the name 'Dursley' to the Thornbury & Yate constituency; Dursley is only a small market town and Thornbury and Yate themselves will still dominate the constituency. The Cotswolds constituency should not stretch to any of Stroud's outer suburbs (e.g. Nailsworth) but only to villages on the edge of Stroud which cannot be considered part of Stroud itself. Its name should also be changed to the largest town, Cirencester, because it must expand outside the Cotswolds district and because the Cotswolds is a larger area than the council area suggests. Stroud's expansion to Quedgeley, which was not transferred to the City of Gloucester until 1991, and Gloucester's gain of Longlevens ward in compensation, are wise moves that I fully approve of.

One particularly awkward problem is expanding the Forest of Dean constituency, due to the shape of the rural wards in northern Gloucestershire and the fact there are no suitable River Severn crossings on the border with the district of Stroud. This also means splitting the Forest of Dean for constituency drawing purposes is not possible, whatever problems it causes for the Tewkesbury constituency. Adding Combe Hill ward to the Forest of Dean constituency creates serious accessibility problems for the redrawn Tewkesbury constituency given that the M5 motorway runs through the eastern part of that ward, meaning that for viability purposes the easternmost polling districts of Combe Hill ward containing said M5 motorway, and the equally critical Tewkesbury Road along the A4019 that links northern Cheltenham with Tewkesbury, must be given to the Tewkesbury constituency in this exercise, which given it now contains a more substantial part of Cheltenham's suburbs should be renamed Tewkesbury & Cheltenham North.

Generally, the initial proposals for Somerset are okay, although some different names need to be used.

My alternative constituencies for Gloucestershire, Somerset and Bristol are:



Tewkesbury & Cheltenham North succeeds Tewkesbury. Within Combe Hill ward it contains polling districts ELH and UCK (see my notes above), meaning its actual electorate is 72,663.
West Gloucestershire succeeds Forest of Dean. Within Combe Hill ward it has all polling districts except for ELH and UCK, meaning its actual electorate is 71,648.
Cirencester succeeds The Cotswolds.
Midsomer Norton succeeds North East Somerset; the north east of Somerset is covered entirely by the city of Bath and the surrounding environs. Midsomer Norton is in the centre of this constituency which is why I have chosen that name.
Frome succeeds Somerton & Frome. Despite having only minor changes compared to Somerton & Frome, Somerton is not a substantial part of the constituency whereas Frome is clearly the most important town in the constituency.
Bridgwater & Minehead succeeds Bridgwater & West Somerset; Minehead easily dominates the small district of West Somerset which is really southwest Somerset.
Bristol North has the same boundaries as Bristol North West; in compass point terms it is the north of Bristol not just the north west. Incidentally, Bristol North (West) will be one of a minority of constituencies that goes unchanged in this review even though it has been changed somewhat in almost every single boundary review since 1950.
North West Somerset has the same boundaries as North Somerset; the name has been changed to reflect the reality of where it is in Somerset and the fact that the constituency of Weston-Super-Mare is also in the North Somerset council area.
Taunton has the same boundaries as the current Taunton Deane; Taunton is more recognisable than Taunton Deane and the 'Deane' in Taunton Deane is only a small and not very significant part of the district, easily dominated by Somerset's county town.
Bristol South, Weston-Super-Mare, and Yeovil are all unchanged.

The next section in my series of alternative constituencies will focus on the West Midlands.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

My alternative constituencies: Dorset & Wiltshire

Like Devon & Cornwall, the counties of Dorset and Wiltshire together end up losing one seat under the 2018 review, although here it causes less consternation.

I almost unanimously agree with the Boundary Commission's initial proposals for this area, except for in Bournemouth. They are correct to pair Christchurch with Bournemouth (as it was earlier; Bournemouth East & Christchurch existed as a constituency from 1950 to 1974) but British coastal towns/cities should never be split north/south in constituency terms (with the exception of Portsmouth which is technically on an island). This is because the links in coastal towns/cities almost always emanate from the centre, which means generally east to west. Therefore, the east/west split should be kept in Bournemouth, and it should contain no part of Poole (as the BCE has wisely recommended).

My alternative constituencies for Dorset and Wiltshire within South West England are therefore:


Mid Dorset & North Poole is abolished.
Bournemouth East & Christchurch succeeds Christchurch in practice and restores the 1950-74 constituency of the same name.
Bournemouth West technically succeeds the current Bournemouth East, but half of the old Bournemouth West, which supposedly disappears, still forms approx. 49% of this new Bournemouth West's electorate.
Blandford & Wimborne succeeds North Dorset in practice.
Warminster & Shaftesbury succeeds South West Wiltshire. Warminster is larger than Westbury hence why a newer name has been chosen.
Trowbridge succeeds Chippenham, despite not actually containing the town of Chippenham and in reality resembling the old constituency of Westbury (minus the towns of Westbury and Warminster).
Chippenham succeeds North Wiltshire in this incarnation and restores the old version of Chippenham which existed from 1918-83 as Chippenham, and from 1983-2010 as North Wiltshire (they are one and the same).
West Dorset, Swindon North, and Swindon South are adjusted for internal ward boundary changes but are essentially unchanged from their 2010 composition.
Broadstone, Ferndown & Kinson is a new seat comprising the northern suburbs of the coastal Bournemouth-Poole conurbation.

Next in this series: Gloucestershire, Somerset, and the city of Bristol.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

My alternative constituencies: Devon & Cornwall

isWe are now in the South West England section of my alternative boundaries series, and the changes needed there have sparked some of the strongest controversy.

Creating a constituency which involves crossing of the Tamar, the river separating Devon and Cornwall, is where much of it lies. Cornwall is really a separate nation in its own right, with its own language, own history, and own culture, and this extends to the people of Cornwall in comparison to the people of Devon, where close links have nevertheless persisted since time immemorial. Sadly, under current parameters and electorate numbers, it is unavoidable without special legislation protecting Cornwall's cultural identity, which should have been in the original act given Cornwall's status within the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. In fact, the Cornish (who like the Welsh, Scots, and Irish, are Celtic in origin) are rightly recognised as a distinct minority in the UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/cornish-granted-minority-status-within-the-uk

All that can be done at the moment with respect to the 2018 Boundary Review is to make sure as little of Cornwall as is practicable is contained within a Devonian constituency; this should be (a tweaked version of the initial proposal of) Bideford, Bude & Launceston. Elsewhere within Cornwall, restoring old pre-2010 boundaries is much more prudent than creating new Cornish constituencies with poor connections to each other. Recreating Bodmin, Truro (& St Austell, a town now too large to be not recognised within a constituency name) and Camborne & Falmouth is therefore the way to go.

Rural Devon and the city of Plymouth are more complex in terms of new boundaries. Plymouth is too large for two seats but also too small for three seats, so inevitably one set of suburbs will have to be joined in a Tavistock constituency. Central Devon is also awkward because of its poor road links and by being under-quota; it was only created to give Devon the extra seat it was entitled to the last time constituency boundaries were changed. It is well worth noting that Tiverton and Honiton should be separated in constituency terms, because Tiverton and Honiton have no proper connection to each other except via Exeter, and in fact never really did which is why the constituency did not exist until 1997; it was only joined when the old constituency of Honiton grew too large. The major problem is that Tiverton is best linked with South Molton, the southern part of the North Devon constituency which should remain unchanged due to its own strong links with Barnstaple; in any case, a hypothetical constituency stretching from Ilfracombe to Bude via Barnstaple and Bideford (Bideford was briefly part of the North Devon constituency from 1974 to 1983) would be too large. Therefore, attaching Tiverton to much of Central Devon (as was the case previously) is the best solution to this problem, as is recreating the Honiton constituency (minus Exmouth). My proposal for Exmouth, however awkward it may look, does at least have some links to villages in between by means of the M5 motorway and associated roads, and surrounds Exeter to which it has strong links with. This also avoids disrupting general links that Totnes and Newton Abbot have.

My alternative constituencies for Devon and Cornwall thus look like this:



North Cornwall is abolished.
Truro & Falmouth is abolished.
Honiton succeeds Tiverton & Honiton.
Exmouth succeeds East Devon in practice despite looking very different from the current East Devon.
Tiverton succeeds Central Devon in practice; Tiverton was connected to much of it (though not Okehampton) previously in constituency terms.
Tavistock succeeds South West Devon.
Plymouth West succeeds Plymouth Moor View.
Plymouth East succeeds Plymouth Sutton & Devonport.
Bideford, Bude & Launceston succeeds Torridge & West Devon; this is the unfortunate cross-Tamar seat.
Bodmin succeeds South East Cornwall, just as it preceded it.
Truro & St Austell succeeds St Austell & Newquay in practice, even though it recreates the old Truro constituency.
Falmouth & Camborne succeeds Camborne & Redruth and recreates the old constituency of the same name.
Torquay & Paignton has the same boundaries as the current Torbay constituency. The name has been adopted to reflect what the two largest towns in this constituency actually are, and to reflect that a significant part of Torbay council (Brixham) is in the Totnes constituency and will continue to be.
North Devon and Exeter are both unchanged.
Newquay & Wadebridge is a new seat and is similar to the old boundaries of North Cornwall minus of course the Bude and Launceston of Bideford, Bude & Launceston.

Next in this series: Wiltshire & Dorset.




Friday, 18 November 2016

Analyses of by-elections from 17/11/16 and other thoughts

Readers, the results of this week's local by-elections featuring Green Party candidates were as follows:

Bath and North East Somerset UA, Abbey: Conservative 350 (32.8%, +2.4%), Liberal Democrats 273 (25.6%, +4.7%), Green 252 (23.6%, -4.5%), Labour 126 (11.8%, -4.9%), Independent (Jenny Knight) 43 (4.0%, +0.1%, UKIP 23 (2.2%). Conservative gain from Green.

Dumfries & Galloway UA, Annandale North: Con 2041 (57.4%, +16.9%), SNP 749 (21.1%, +4.3%), Lab 611 (17.2%, -2.4%), Green 152 (4.3%, -10.0%).

Welwyn Hatfield BC, Haldens: Con 507 (34.3%, -2.5%), Lab 454 (30.7%, -5.8%), Lib Dem 437 (29.5%, +19.9%), Green 81 (5.5%, -11.6%).

The result in Abbey, in the centre of the fine city of Bath (I would like to live there someday), is a particular disappointment for the Green Party, who campaigned hard in one of the most marginal wards in the country, with high turnouts (for local government elections) to match. Even though the Conservatives have consistently led in this ward, despite it being frequently split (we were defending the seat this time), they could still not even manage 1/3 of the votes cast in that by-election, showing the high potential for change. Bath is certainly an area to watch psephologically for how things will change in the next few years. The same goes for Welwyn Hatfield, where Labour seemed poised to gain the classic marginal ward known as Haldens yet were stymied by another Lib Dem recovery, which turned the result into a three-way marginal.

I would like to pay tribute to all victims of the tram crash at Croydon which happened recently, and commend Transport for London for offering to pay the funeral costs of the seven who died. In these difficult times, we must band together and remember how important maintaining community spirit is, irrespective of who we are or where we come from.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

My alternative constituencies: Sussex

Particularly in East Sussex, the Boundary Commission's initial proposals in Sussex are in many cases a right mess at best, and outright gerrymandering at worst, particularly with 'Brighton North' and 'Brighton Central & Hove'.

Pairing the parts of Sussex together does create a squeeze for constituencies, but it also allows for more coherent rural Sussex constituencies. A key trick is reviving the old constituency of East Grinstead, much of which is currently covered by the Wealden constituency. The size of West Sussex's constituencies also helps in shifting wards.
There are good reasons not to create Brighton North or Brighton Central & Hove. First of all, the city of Brighton & Hove has a sunray pattern, not a spiderweb pattern-it stretches outwards from the city centre (covered by St Peter's & North Laine ward) and westwards and eastwards, but the northern parts have no proper connection with each other at all; this is particularly important given the substantial use of public transport (and other green things, of course) in Brighton. Hove Park ward, formerly known as Stanford, is an integral part of Hove and should not be moved into any Brighton constituency. Instead, Hove should just take the nearest Brighton ward it connects to, which is Regency (since Hove is under-quota and has to expand), and Brighton Pavilion should take in Queen's Park to compensate, since that is the eastern ward fitting in best with its cultural outlook. The size of Brighton & Hove wards can be problematic, but only one polling district needs to be moved out of Brighton Kemptown's successor seat.

Meanwhile, Lewes is much better paired with Hailsham than it is with Uckfield, which should form part of a revived East Grinstead seat; since Mid Sussex is oversized it does not have to gain much replacement territory. Other seats need no change at all or only small changes.

My alternative constituencies for Sussex (both West and East) are therefore:



Bexhill succeeds Bexhill & Battle; even though Battle is still in this changed constituency it only has historical value and so does not need to be included in the constituency name.
East Grinstead succeeds Wealden and recreates the pre-1983 constituency of East Grinstead (which included Crowborough and Uckfield).
:Lewes & Hailsham succeeds Lewes.
Haywards Heath & Burgess Hill succeeds Mid Sussex.
Brighton West succeeds Brighton Paviliion. It has polling district DY of East Brighton ward which is east of Felstead Road in Queen's Park ward, making its actual electorate 72,046.
Brighton East & Seaford succeeds Brighton Kemptown. It loses polling district DY of East Brighton ward, making its actual electorate 78,202.
Eastbourne, Hastings & Rye, Bognor Regis & Littlehampton, Worthing West, and Worthing East & Shoreham are all unchanged.

By now the majority of the public hearings for the 2018 review have finished, and written responses need to be submitted to the BCE by 5 December. The next section in my series focuses on South West England.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

My alternative proposals: Kent

The Boundary Commission's initial proposals indicate that Kent & (East) Sussex should be paired together, even though there are enough electors in each for this not be the case.

I do not recommend that any 'High Weald' cross-county constituency be created because: there are no real community links between Kent and any part of Sussex; the Weald line is the only real transport connection between these areas and it is not particularly good, especially with Southern running the trains at present, and also because of the disruption it causes in both the Tunbridge Wells and Wealden areas, whose internal links are sound.
Even though this would make Kent's constituencies oversized and the Sussex constituencies undersized, important geographical and community ties would be better preserved and therefore I consider keeping Kent and Sussex separate for the purposes of creating new constituency boundaries justified.

Instead of splitting Tunbridge Wells, the constituency should instead be extended to cover the entire district; keeping regard of local authority boundaries is important when designing new constituencies. No modification is needed to Rochester & Strood, either, and in many cases only minimal change is needed due to substantial differences between the smaller and larger constituencies of Kent (Faversham & Kent Mid has only 66,647 electors; Ashford and Folkestone & Hythe have over 81,000 electors apiece). This way, (mainly) coherent constituencies can be created, and Kent's new constituencies will be able to stick to local authority boundaries more.

My alternative constituencies for Kent within this review are:



Faversham & Mid Kent is abolished.
Chatham & The Mallings succeeds Chatham & Aylesford.
Tonbridge succeeds Tonbridge & Malling.
Maidstone succeeds Maidstone & The Weald.
Herne Bay & Thanet West succeeds Thanet North; it stretches outside the Isle of Thanet hence the name change.
Canterbury & Faversham succeeds Canterbury.
Thanet East succeeds Thanet South.
Gravesend succeeds Gravesham.
Sittingbourne & Sheppey and Rochester & Strood are both unchanged.

Monday, 14 November 2016

My alternative proposals: Surrey

Of all the counties and cities in England, Surrey suffers the least change, with 7 constituencies out of 11 being able to remain completely intact.

I believe a few tweaks are needed nonetheless. It is worth noting that 'Egham Hythe ward' does not actually contain the village of Egham Hythe itself but rather a suburb of Staines-upon-Thames, which the Spelthorne constituency should adopt as it is now extending outside of the Spelthorne district for quota purposes and because no such town as 'Spelthorne' exists.

The situation with Esher & Walton, which with 78,545 voters on December 2015 figures is officially over the maximum limit, is tricky because placing both Hersham wards into Runnymede & Weybridge (currently under-quota, and keep in mind that Spelthorne, once part of Middlesex, can only expand into that area in terms of new boundaries) would leave Esher & Walton with insufficient voters. Ward-splitting is therefore needed to deal with this problem, by moving Whiteley village (polling district RB of Hersham South ward, which contains no part of the actual village of Hersham) to Runnymede & Weybridge, with which there are sufficient road links. This puts both constituencies in quota with minimal change.

Because Surrey Heath is large enough, it can donate two rural wards to put Runnymede & Weybridge in quota, leaving the rest of Surrey's constituencies intact.

My alternative proposals for Surrey constituencies (which differ little from the Boundary Commission's initial proposals) are therefore:


Staines(-upon-Thames) succeeds Spelthorne; Spelthorne is only useful for administrative purposes and Staines is a much more recognisable name.
The changed Runnymede & Weybridge's actual electorate is 73,426, and the changed Esher & Walton's actual electorate is 77,399 (see my notes for details).
Camberley & Ash succeeds Surrey Heath; Camberley and Ash are clearly dominant towns within the constituency.
Dorking & Leatherhead has the same boundaries as the current Mole Valley constituency; the name has been changed because the constituency is not coterminous with the Mole Valley district and because it contains villages in the east of the borough of Guildford.
Woking, Guildford, Epsom & Ewell, South West Surrey, Reigate, and Surrey East are all unchanged from their 2010 boundaries.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

My alternative proposals: Hampshire & The Isle of Wight

Hampshire is one of only two counties in the South East region that will end up losing a constituency within the 2018 review for Parliamentary constituencies in Britain. As a consolation, though, the Isle of Wight is statutorily entitled to an extra seat. I support the BCE proposals to split the Isle of Wight East/West, as this means that both of the Isle of Wight's seats can maintain links with Hampshire and represent the many different communities on the island fairly.

Many of their Hampshire proposals are fine, but there are some that need considerable modification. Meon Valley, which was only created in 2010 when Hampshire acquired an entitlement to an extra seat, is one of the worst and most incoherent parliamentary constituencies in existence in Britain and it certainly deserves to be destroyed-but how?

Given that creating a Portsmouth constituency that includes places not actually in the city of Portsmouth is unavoidable on current parameters, Portsmouth South should add Baffins ward (not Nelson ward) but Portsmouth North should still expand eastwards into Havant as the old Portsmouth Langstone constituency did. Fareham does not need to absorb any part of Meon Valley; it can remain unchanged just like its neighbour, Gosport. Romsey should absorb more outlying villages in the west of the Winchester district (but no part of the city of Winchester itself!) and the town of Chandler's Ford in the Eastleigh borough, where actual links exist. Thankfully, it no longer has to include any part of the city of Southampton, where Test and Itchen will together now cover the entirety of Southampton. This way, Winchester will be a more coherent entity in parliamentary constituency terms, as will 'East Hampshire' (which I believe should revert to the old name of Petersfield).

My alternative constituency proposals for Hampshire & Isle of Wight look like this:


Meon Valley is abolished.
Romsey succeeds Romsey & Southampton North.
Andover succeeds Hampshire North West.
Alton succeeds Hampshire North East.
Petersfield succeeds East Hampshire.
Havant & Waterloo succeeds Havant and is nearly identical to the Havant & Waterloo constituency of 1974-83.
Portsmouth Langstone succeeds Portsmouth North.
Portsmouth Harbour succeeds Portsmouth South.
Isle of Wight East is the larger of the two Isle of Wight seats and therefore 'succeeds' the Isle of Wight.
Fareham, Gosport, Eastleigh, and Basingstoke are all unchanged.
Isle of Wight West is a new seat being the smaller of the two Isle of Wight seats.