2018 Review: constituency names

In boundary commission on December 11, 2017 by dadge


North Durham & Chester-le-Street > North Durham

North Durham includes Chester-le-Street so there’s no need to add it to the name.

Stockton & Yarm > Stockton

Yarm is only 10% of the seat.

Middlesbrough South & Thornaby > West Cleveland

More succinct.


Goole & Axholme > Goole OR Boothferry

Since Howden(shire) is not included in the name, it’s not clear why Axholme is.

Great Grimsby North & Barton > Grimsby North

Great Grimsby South & Cleethorpes > Grimsby South & Cleethorpes

For the sake of brevity.

Upper Calder > Halifax

It’d be a great pity to lose the name of such an important town.

Wentworth & Dearne > Wentworth

Seat no longer contains Dearne.

Sheffield North & Ecclesfield > Sheffield North

One or the other. Ecclesfield is in north Sheffield.


West Cumbria > West Cumberland

Because that’s where it is.

Oldham > Oldham North (West)

Failsworth & Droylsden > Oldham South & Droylsden

Oldham is split between these two seats.

Widnes & Runcorn > Halton

Bebington & Heswall > Wirral West

Altrincham & Knutsford > Tatton



Broxtowe & Hucknall > Broxtowe

Hucknall is not in Broxtowe district but was traditionally in Broxtowe constituency.

Corby & East Northamptonshire > East Northamptonshire

Corby is in East Northants.


Stoke-on-Trent North & Kidsgrove > Stoke North

The seat already contains Kidsgrove.

Aldridge, Brownhills & Bloxwich > Walsall Wood

Walsall & Oscott > Walsall Town

For brevity and to differentiate from the borough.

Birmingham Erdington & Perry Barr> Birmingham Erdington

Only one ward from BPB is in the new seat.

Birmingham Edgbaston & Selly Oak> Birmingham Edgbaston

Only one ward from BSO is in the new seat. S. Oak ward doesn’t include all of S. Oak.

Birmingham Yardley > Birmingham Small Heath

Quite a bit of Yardley is missing from the new seat. BSH is a traditional name.

Darlaston & Tipton > Wednesbury

W. is the main and central town in the seat.

Dudley > Dudley Castle OR Dudley West

Quite a lot of Dudley is missing from the seat. Also for differentiation from the borough.

Hereford & South Herefordshire > Hereford

Revert to previous, and simpler, name.


Central Suffolk & North Ipswich > Central Suffolk


Huntingdon & St Neots > Huntingdon



Chipping Barnet > Barnet & Finchley West

Finchley & Enfield Southgate > Southgate & Finchley East

Finchley is divided between these seats.

Hillingdon & Uxbridge > Uxbridge & Northolt

Acknowledging this is a 2-borough seat.

Ealing & Acton > Acton & Ealing Central

Only includes part of Ealing.

Kilburn > Paddington & Kilburn

A more accurate name.

Camden & St Pancras > St Pancras (& Archway)

Camden is the borough. St Pancras includes Camden Town.

Islington > Islington South & Finsbury

Seat has hardly changed.

Isleworth, Brentford & Chiswick > Brentford & Isleworth

Seat changes don’t justify this name change.


Hove & Regency > Hove

“Regency” isn’t a place; the ward is only 8% of the seat.

Lewes & Uckfield > Lewes


Mid Kent & Ticehurst > Mid Kent

Ticehurst is less than 5% of the seat.

East Thanet & Sandwich > South Thanet OR East Thanet

Sandwich is already in the seat.

North Kent Coastal > North Kent Coast

The adjectival ending serves no purpose.

Chatham & The Mallings > Chatham & Aylesford


Rochester & Strood > Rochester

Strood is in Rochester.


Dursley, Thornbury & Yate > Thornbury & Yate


Yeovil & South Somerset > Yeovil

Continuity. Seat hasn’t changed.

Plympton, Tavistock & Ivybridge > South West Devon

Continuity; simplification.

Falmouth, Camborne & Redruth > Falmouth & Camborne

Seat is similar to former seat.




2018 Review: Durham

In boundary changes, North East, redistricting on December 11, 2017 by dadge

For some reason the Commission has decided that the Northumberland border is sacrosanct, even though (a) it’s played fast and loose with county boundaries elsewhere in the country, and (b) doing so produces an unsatisfactory boundary in the Ashington/Bedlington area. Local factors, especially the fact that the Tyne & Wear county boundary is long gone and there are good ties across the border with the neighbouring local authorities, should come into play.

Perhaps the main irony of the Commission’s decision regarding Northumberland is that it has caused them to create a seat (Blaydon) with an orphan ward (Burnopfield) in County Durham, and it’s not clear why a sensible crossing of the Northumberland border would be worse than this rather pathetic crossing of the Durham border. What’s worse, the removal of the Burnopfield ward has unfortunate knock-on effects, in particular the loss of the Framwellgate ward from the Durham city seat. Newton Hall is an integral part of the city. (The fact that the Commission thinks this loss is acceptable demonstrates how it sets too much store by physical characteristics, ignoring administrative, socio-economic and historical factors.) Current boundaries of Durham city (from

bce durham

Therefore the main purpose of this counter-proposal is to put the Framwellgate Moor area back into the Durham city seat, and Burnopfield back into a Durham county seat.


The minimum-change option (with regard to the Revised Proposals), i.e. without needing to cross the Northumberland border, for eliminating the orphan ward is probably as follows:

bce blaydon

Blaydon 76,652

Gateshead West 71,415

Gateshead East 73,497

If the Northumberland border is crossed, the least disruptive option is to include Prudhoe in the Blaydon seat:

bce newc v2

Blaydon 71,402

Newcastle Central 76,027

Newcastle North 74,691

Hexham 77,442

Blyth & Wansbeck 73,869

Berwick & Morpeth 73,286

For boundaries around Morpeth and Cramlington, see my original submission.

Speaking of which, I still think my Hexham & Blaydon and Castle Ward seats are a better arrangement than the Commission’s Blaydon & Newburn and Hexham & Cramlington seats, but either of the above plans is a reasonable compromise.


Now that the Burnopfield ward is no longer being kidnapped, the County Durham seats can be slightly rejigged to allow all of Durham city to be united in one seat:

bce durham rev

North Durham 77,212

North West Durham 74,536

Bishop Auckland 75,434

Sedgefield & Billingham 76,459

Durham & Easington 77,766


2018 Review: North London versions 2.1 and 2.2

In boundary changes, London, redistricting on December 11, 2017 by dadge

Counterproposal for Enfield, Barnet and Haringey

Problems with the Commission’s Revised Proposals:

Finchley split between 3 seats

Golders Green area split between 2 seats

Wood Green split between 2 seats

Palmers Green split between 2 seats

A seat that stretches from East Finchley to Hadley Wood

Unnecessary split ward in Enfield

Map of Commission’s proposals:

bce finchley

Finchley comprises the 5 wards of West, East, Church End, Woodhouse and Garden Suburb (plus part of Totteridge ward). Currently all 5 (i.e. all of Finchley) are in the Finchley & Golders Green seat.

There are two alternatives in this counterproposal: one (A) keeps all 5 wards together; the other (B) retains Garden Suburb ward in the Hampstead seat, as per the Commission’s proposal.


barnet enfield

Main advantage of this scheme: all 5 Finchley wards in one seat.

Main disadvantage: Barnet split between seats.


barnet v2

Advantages of this scheme:

All of Barnet (Chipping, East, Friern) kept together, unchanged from current seat.

Most of Finchley in one seat.

Wood Green and Palmers Green not split between seats.

No split ward.


Haringey divided between three seats.


Both of these plans are at least as good as that proposed by the Commission but neither requires a split ward.


2018 Review: Northwich (Cheshire)

In boundary changes, Cheshire, North West, redistricting on December 11, 2017 by dadge

The Commission has so far missed an excellent opportunity to propose a proper Northwich seat. The town has suffered for too long from being split between seats, and the seats in the Revised Proposals perpetuate this problem:

bce northwich0

(The blue line is the border between the Commission’s proposed Weaver Vale and Eddisbury seats.)

If the Frodsham area is included in the Eddisbury seat this can be rectified. (Frodsham was in the Eddisbury constituency up till 1997, and was also in Eddisbury hundred.) Therefore I counter-propose the following arrangement:

bce eddisbury

Weaver Vale 74,877
Halton 75,381
Eddisbury 73,627
Crewe & Nantwich 72,326


2018 Review: Brighton and Newhaven

In boundary changes, redistricting, South East, Sussex on December 10, 2017 by dadge

In the revised proposals, the knock-on effect of Brighton’s large ward sizes is causing a harmful split in Newhaven, with one third of the town (the Valley ward) included in the Lewes seat.

bce brighton4

Although Sussex can be dealt with generally without split wards, Brighton is a special case. The wards are very large such that creating a Brighton Pavilion seat relies on luck. (Excluding the two-councillor ward (Woodingdean) there are 101,106 electors between 10 wards, an average of 10,111. Now notice that 7×10,111=70,777 and 8×10,111=80,888, both of which totals are outside the permitted range.) That luck has allowed the formation of a seat (Pavilion) that scrapes over the bottom end of the permitted range, but when a seat scrapes over the line in this way it naturally pushes an excess of voters into the neighbouring seat. This is what has happened in the case of Kemptown & Seahaven.

What to do in such a case? One could, rather unreasonably, expect the responsibility for solving the problem to fall on the neighbouring seat, even though it’s not its wards that are the cause of the problem. This is what the Commission have done by looking for a solution in Newhaven. The two suggested solutions: splitting the Denton & Meeching ward, or the loss of the whole Valley ward to Lewes, are both very bad.

Instead, and much more reasonably, we can look to Brighton. On the border between the Kemptown and Pavilion seats is Hanover. Until 2010 all of Hanover was in the Pavilion seat, but some of it is now in the Kemptown seat. (This was caused by the moving of the constituency boundary to the new ward boundary.) This area (polling districts EY and EZ, the area around Windmill Street) can be returned to the Pavilion seat, providing a reasonable solution to the problem.

bce brighton9

Brighton Pavilion 71527 + EY 1238 + EZ 745 = 73510

Brighton Kemptown & Seahaven 76167 + Newhaven Valley 2554 – EY 1238 – EZ 745 = 76738

Lewes 77696 – Newhaven Valley 2554 = 75142

bce brighton10


2018 Review – West Midlands v2.0

In Birmingham, boundary changes, boundary commission, Coventry, Dudley, News, redistricting, Sandwell, Stoke, Walsall, Warwickshire, West Midlands, West Midlands county, Wolverhampton on October 23, 2017 by dadge

The Commission has published its revised recommendations, and there are many improvements. Warwickshire will now have the sensible arrangement of seats that had been obvious to everyone except the Commission. And they have accepted my proposals for Stoke and Newcastle, which is nice.

The map of Birmingham and the Black Country is looking a bit better, but there are still the following (main) problems:

  1. Pleck removed from Walsall*
  2. Oscott ward in a Walsall seat*
  3. Handsworth Wood in a Sandwell seat
  4. Handsworth split between seats
  5. Oddly shaped Erdington seat going up to the Scott Arms*
  6. Smethwick split between three constituencies*
  7. East Smethwick in a Birmingham seat*
  8. Nechells in a sinuous Yardley seat*
  9. Yardley split between seats
  10. Rubery in a Birmingham seat
  11. Netherton in the Halesowen & Rowley Regis seat*
  12. Dudley town split between seats*
  13. East Dudley town in a Sandwell seat*
  14. Friar Park ward not in the Wednesbury seat*
  15. Greets Green in the Tipton seat*

My counter-proposal (interactive map) solves 11 of those 15 problems (shown by stars), but creates five new ones:

  1. Perry Barr in a Sandwell seat
  2. Yew Tree in a Walsall seat
  3. Castle Vale in the Hodge Hill seat
  4. Bearwood and part of Oldbury in a Birmingham seat
  5. Rowley Regis split between seats

But I think that reducing the overall number of problems from 15 to 9 is quite good going. Also, I’d say we go from having eight bad constituencies (out of 20) to just one (can you guess which one?!) so I think that’s definitely an improvement. Excluding the seats in Wolverhampton and Sutton (which have general support), my proposed seats are:

  1. Aldridge, Brownhills & Bloxwich 76572
    18. Walsall 73255
    14. Sandwell Valley 76523
    4. Erdington 73557*
    6. Hodge Hill 77643* (includes Castle Vale DLC DLG DLH)
    3. Birmingham Central* 77926
    9. Small Heath 77267* (includes Bordesley Green CTH CTI CTJ CTK)
    5. Hall Green 72658*
    7. Kings Norton 71831* (includes Swanshurst Park DEG)
    8. Northfield 75118
    11. Edgbaston & Warley South 76863
    19. Warley North 71590
    20. Wednesbury, Tipton & Darlaston 72803
    10. Dudley 78270*
    16. Stourbridge 72591* (includes Brockmoor J05 J06 J07)
    12. Halesowen & Cradley Heath 78132

The stars indicate seats that include parts of split wards. (I have 4 split wards compared to the Commission’s 3.) Seats in bold include wards from two boroughs. (I have 8 compared with the Commission’s 9. Not a big difference there, but this counter-proposal doesn’t make wholesale changes. In an ideal world we’d be looking at something like my original plan, which only had 3 cross-border seats.)

Map of seats listed above:

bce bbc0

If you prefer all or part of this plan to the Commission’s proposals, email them by 11/12/17 at


2017 parliament: the tightest marginals

In News on June 9, 2017 by dadge

2 0.00% Fife NE Gethins SNP  
20 0.00% Kensington Dent Coad Lab  
21 0.00% Perth Wishart SNP  
22 0.10% Dudley North Austin Lab  
30 0.10% Newcastle Staffs Farrelly Lab  
31 0.00% Southampton Itchen Smith Con  
45 0.00% Richmond Park Goldsmith Con  
48 0.10% Crewe Smith Lab  
60 0.20% Glasgow SW Stephens SNP  
75 0.20% Glasgow East Linden SNP  
92 0.30% Arfon Williams PC  
104 0.20% Ceredigion Lake PC  
148 0.30% Stirling Kerr Con  
169 0.30% Foyle McCallion SF  
187 0.30% Canterbury Duffield Lab  
195 0.50% Airdrie Gray SNP  
209 0.50% Barrow Woodcock Lab  
242 0.70% Glasgow NE Sweeney Lab  
249 0.50% Keighley Grogan Lab  
259 0.50% Kirkcaldy Laird Lab  
265 0.50% Rutherglen Killen Lab  
266 0.60% Lanark Crawley SNP *
312 0.60% St Ives Thomas Con  
314 0.80% Preseli Crabb Con  
318 0.70% Motherwell Fellows SNP  
331 0.70% Pudsey Andrew Con  
345 0.70% Thurrock Doyle-Price Con  
346 0.70% Hastings Rudd Con  
353 0.60% Chipping Barnet Villiers Con  
384 1.00% Inverclyde Cowan SNP  
441 0.90% Ashfield De Piero Lab  
502 1.20% Bishop Auckland Goodman Lab  
507 1.10% Norwich North Smith Con  
607 1.30% Peterborough Onasanya Lab  
609 1.00% Calder Valley Whittaker Con  
635 2.00% Aberconwy Bebb Con  
663 1.50% Stoke South Brereton Con  
687 1.10% Stroud Drew Lab  
720 1.60% Telford Allan Con  
777 1.50% Westmorland Farron LD  
789 1.70% Bedford Yasin Lab  
807 2.00% Northampton North Ellis Con  
816 1.40% Oxford West Moran LD  
831 1.60% Ipswich Martin Lab  
844 1.60% Dunfermline Chapman SNP  
863 1.50% Broxtowe Soubry Con  
875 1.70% Fermanagh Gildernew SF  
885 2.00% Midlothian Rowley Lab  
888 1.60% Stockton South Williams Lab  
915 1.50% Colne Valley Walker Lab  
936 1.80% Bolton West Green Con