Wiltshire and Dorset

In Dorset, redistricting, South West, Wiltshire on October 4, 2011 by dadge

And so we come to the end of the South West.* In some ways Dorset fits better with Somerset, but it’s hard to escape the logic of pairing Somerset with the bits of itself that it lost in 1974. So it’s Dorwilt and 12 seats.

Not a lot to say here – generally speaking I can’t see another way of arranging the seats – except to comment on some of the details. Starting in the north…

1. Having lived in South West Swindon, I can see it would be better to unite Covingham with the rest, but unfortunately that would make the South seat 0.1% too big.
2. The southern edge of the Chippenham seat is very tight to Chippenham and Corsham so let’s add the Corsham rural area.
3. The northern edge of the Warminster seat is very tight to Westbury. Unfortunately the numbers don’t allow us to add the Bratton area.
4. I don’t think it’d do the Lavingtons ward any favours to be stuck at one end of the very long cross-border seat, so let’s put them into Trowbridge to keep Bratton company.
5. The constituency boundary between Salisbury and Shaftesbury isn’t what I’d call ideal but unfortunately there isn’t much that can be done. Adding the Nadder ward to it would make Salisbury too big. I’ve tentatively gone the other way and added Donhead to Shaftesbury, but I don’t know the area well enough to know if that would be popular.
6. The Christchurch seat is turning into quite a glennmander**, isn’t it. The shape mostly can’t be helped, but the Alderholt “tail” is silly. It makes much more sense to have West Parley in the seat, so I’ve done a swap.
7. It’d be nice to get Wareham into the South Dorset seat where it properly belongs but the little swap I just did means it’s not possible.
8. The proposals for Bournemouth and Poole make a lot of sense, with the Merley ward being the one that’s added to the Mid Dorset seat. I will just mention though another theoretical arrangement which I had in mind at the last Review:

Bournemouth 81,627
Boscombe East 7,465
Boscombe West 6,257
East Cliff and Springbourne 8,087
East Southbourne and Tuckton 7,869
Littledown and Iford 7,424
Queen’s Park 7,702
West Southbourne 6,964
Winton East 7,364
Talbot and Branksome Woods 7,011
Central 7,518
Westbourne and West Cliff 7,966

Canford Magna 78,741
Kinson North 7,663
Kinson South 7,413
Redhill and Northbourne 7,606
Wallisdown and Winton West 7,309
Throop and Muscliff 6,670
Moordown 7,438
Strouden Park 7,085
Broadstone 8,519
Canford Heath East 5,529
Canford Heath West 5,311
Merley and Bearwood 8,198

Poole 75,748
Canford Cliffs 7,071
Creekmoor 7,286
Oakdale 9,052
Parkstone 8,423
Penn Hill 8,592
Poole Town 7,734
Alderney 8,392
Branksome East 4,472
Branksome West 5,509
Newtown 9,217

As you can see, luckily for everyone the Bournemouth seat comes out too big, so you can ignore all that.

Summary of my changes to the Commission’s proposals:
Move Corsham Without from Trowbridge to Chippenham
Move The Lavingtons from Warminster/Shaftesbury to Trowbridge
Move Tisbury from Salisbury to Warminster/Shaftesbury
Rename Blandford & Wimborne to Mid Dorset
Move Alderholt from Christchurch to Mid Dorset
Move Parley from Mid Dorset to Christchurch

Revised electorates:
Mid Dorset 76,179
Bournemouth East 80,325
Bournemouth West 80,076
Chippenham 79,368
Christchurch 76,592
Devizes 76,830
Poole 77,406
Salisbury 73,864
South Dorset 73,499
Swindon North 79,488
Swindon South 73,449
Trowbridge 77,249
Warminster and Shaftesbury 78,145
West Dorset 76,779

The Commission’s proposals are here. Map. (enormous pdf) Send your comments to the Commission here.

*I suppose I ought to mention Bristol, except there isn’t much to say: it gets 4 seats and the Commission’s proposals seem fine to me.

** 😉


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