Politico.eu: Parliament To Lose 50 Seats With Biggest Electoral Map Shake-Up In A Century

Rob Stothard/Getty
Rob Stothard/Getty

From Politico.eu: Forget Brexit and the historic realignment of the U.K.’s place in the world. As of next week there will be a new topic raising the blood pressure of British MPs: the biggest redrawing of Britain’s electoral map since the 1920s.

From noon on Monday, MPs will be visiting the Boothroyd Room in the heart of the Westminster village. There they will receive, under condition of confidentiality, copies of a proposed new political map with 50 fewer parliamentary seats.

The plans for England and Wales, which will be made public Tuesday (proposals for Scotland will follow in October, while Northern Ireland’s were released earlier this week), are expected to put a bomb under the opposition Labour party: It is projected to lose 25 to 30 of its seats and see up to 200 affected by boundary shifts, according to an independent analysis by the Conservative peer and political reform specialist Robert Hayward.

The cull will disproportionately hit Labour seats in Wales and the north of England, at a time when the party is languishing in the polls and riven by infighting. If the plans do win parliamentary approval — a vote is due in 2018 — it would be a coup for new Prime Minister Theresa May, smoothing her passage to a second term. But with many Conservative MPs worried about the future of their own seats and disgruntled that as the House of Commons takes a cut, the unelected House of Lords continues to grow, May could face an uphill struggle to push the reforms over the line.

“Every MP will be looking anxiously for their seats,” a Labour source said. “For those affected, this is literally going to take over people’s lives.”

The Conservatives are set to lose between 10 and 15 seats, with the other losses shared between the Scottish National Party and smaller parties, according to Lord Hayward’s independent analysis, which has circulated around Westminster in recent days, and appears to confirm Labour’s fears of a big electoral hit…

…Read more at Politico.eu.