Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond faces losing his seat if David Cameron succeeds in pushing through his planned reforms of parliamentary boundaries.
Other big beasts facing the axe include Cameron’s former leadership rival David Davis as well former cabinet minister and noted Europhile Kenneth Clarke. Employment Minister and future Tory hope Priti Patel will also have to find a new seat as her Witham constituency could disappear.
On Sunday, the Prime Minister confirmed he would stick to his promise to cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600 by redrawing the electoral map. He tried to push the scheme through in the last parliament but the plan was scuppered amid a Liberal Democrat rebellion.
Cameron said: “On the manifesto commitment we have to cutting the cost of politics, I remain completely committed to that. I think it’s the right approach and very important.”
Before his previous attempt, the Prime Minister asked the Boundary Commission to draw up the new constituencies. If the government uses these recommendations again, it will result in some significant figures seeking new seats.
The worst-hit party proportionally would be the SNP, which could lose 16 per cent of its seats. As well as Alex Salmond – who now speaks on foreign affairs for the party – losing his Gordon constituency, the party could also lose its Westminster spokesmen on immigration, health, cities, the Treasury and the Cabinet Office.
Labour would also lose 29 constituencies with the most senior loss being potential deputy leader Tom Watson.
The Prime Minister will face serious opposition getting his proposals through, however, with a number of Conservatives likely to rebel when the issue is put the vote. One unnamed backbencher who expects to lose his seat in the review told The Times: “I’m not voting for it. I’ll team up with Labour and the SNP and vote it down.”