The boundaries: Is it best for the blues not to do too well?

The boundaries: Is it best for the blues not to do too well?


Are the local battles about to commence?

At midday at Westminster MPs for seats in England will for the first time see the proposals for the the revised boundaries that have been drawn up for the reduced sized house of commons.

The total of MPs is being cut-back from 650 to 600 so inevitably there will be losers. Also certain is that the levels of marginality will change. So MPs with relatively comfortable majorities might find that the plan for their new seat might make winning a lot more challenging.

Remember that for most MPs this is about their jobs and their livelihoods and it is perhaps understandable if many view the proposals not on what is best for their parties but what is best for them personally.

A bigger issue will be what the new plans do to the overall electoral arithmetic. In 2005 Labour won a comfortable commons majority with 35.2% of the UK vote. In 2010 the Conservative secured more that 36% but came out 20 seats short.

It is almost inevitable that the blues will, once the analysis and number crunching has been completed, will come out in a better position. It will be easier for them to win a majority and it will be harder for Labour. The question is how much better will it be for Cameron’s party?

If the bar for a blue majority is seen to have been reduced too far then it might be harder for the plans to secure approval in the commons vote scheduled for October 2013.

So perhaps its best for the blues not to be seen to be doing too well. No doubt that’s how they’ll try to spin it.

Forget what’s happening in the rest of the world – the big issue for MPs in the coming months will be the boundaries.


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