Articles

Wales at the 2013 review

In boundary changes, Wales on November 10, 2011 by dadge

The Boundary Commission for Wales is late. They had problems which haven’t been disclosed, and two new commissioners were only appointed on 4 October. We won’t know if they are more competent than their predecessors, or more competent than the English commissioners, until their proposals are published in the New Year.

In the meantime everyone can have a go at second-guessing them, and I’ve used Boundary Assistant to have a go. Compare my effort with those by Penddu and Phil Davies.

1. The country has been allocated 30 seats, down from 40. This is the most significant change anywhere in the UK, and marks the end of the statutory over-representation of certain areas, apart from the four island constituencies (Shetland & Orkney, Western Isles, West Wight, East Wight).

2. Review areas:

North Wales (Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbigh, Flint, Wrexham) 6.78 seats > 7 @ 73,682

Mid/West Wales (Powys, Ceredigion, Pembroke, Camarthen) 5.09 seats > 5 @ 77,481

– Some electors from Mid Wales will probably need to be included in a North Wales seat or seats.

Swansea-Neath-Port-Talbot 3.86 seats > 4 @ 73,377

Cardiff, the Vale and Rhondda (Cardiff, Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taf) 8.10 seats > 8 @ 77,045

– Depending on the size of the Swansea seats, Maesteg or Porthcawl might have to be included in a NPT seat.

South East Wales (Merthyr, Caerphilly, Blaenau, Torfaen, Newport, Monmouth) 6.16 seats > 6 @ 78,092

3. North Wales

Menai 77,876
Gwynedd 73,475
Colwyn Bay 79,823
Denbighshire 73,481
Flint 73,882
Alyn & Deeside 73,652
Wrexham 74,881

I’ve tried to avoid including the Conwy valley in the already large Gwynedd/Meirionnydd seat, but this has the unfortunate consequence of forcing Conwy itself into the Anglesey-Bangor seat, so I don’t think I’m on to a winner there.

(There’s one crafty thing the Commission could do – if you take the Conwy and Caerhun wards out of my Menai seat the electorate is 72,804, i.e. only 6 short, so the Commission could just transfer a few electors from the Gwynedd seat and hey presto! Job done.)

Further along the coast, Denbigh district has an electorate of 74,416 so, apart from the Llandrillo ward transferred to Gwynedd, I’ve made a coterminous constituency. The Wrexham area is short of voters so needs to include some from North Powys. This isn’t ideal but I think it’s a likely solution.

4. Mid/West Wales

Montgomery & Aberystwyth 75,813
Brecon, Radnor & Tywi 74,542
Carmarthen & Cardigan 74,211
Pembroke 76,039
Llanelli 75,500

I think this part of my plan will go down like a lead balloon, so look away now. 🙂 Even with some voters in North-Wales seats, Powys is too big for one seat. A likely solution is to add the south-Breconshire villages to seats in Glamorgan and Gwent, but if you don’t want to do that, you have little option than to have seats that cross the mountains and split Ceredigion. The seats are perfectly workable but possibly not too popular.

5. West Glamorgan

Gower 79,360
Swansea 78,383
Port Talbot 74,044
Neath 77,332
Bridgend 76,150

There are two seats west of the Tawe and two to the east. Dividing the East Swansea-Neath-Port Talbot-Maesteg area is difficult.

6. Gwent & East Glamorgan

Cardiff West 73,217
Cardiff North 77,080
Cardiff East 73,464
Barry 73,464
Ely-Vale 73,529
Rhondda 75,910
Cynon Valley & Pontypridd 77,928
Merthyr & Rhymney 79,414
Blaenau Gwent 77,493
Caerphilly & Islwyn 80,074
Torfaen 76,639
Newport 78,808
Monmouth 76,126

Part of Cardiff district needs to be included in a non-Cardiff seat and I assume that in the end a solution will be found that transfers Creigiau, Pentyrch and Radyr, but my Llantrisant-Cowbridge seat is too small unless I include Ely. Apart from that I’m pretty happy with my plan for the Valleys. I know there isn’t much of a link between Caerphilly and Blackwood, but they are in the same borough.

Download the spreadsheet

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One Response to “Wales at the 2013 review”

  1. Interesting, but not a flier I suspect.

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