Archive for the ‘News’ Category


Checking for voter bias

In Birmingham,candidates,News on May 21, 2018 by dadge

When the results were coming in for the Birmingham city council elections I perceived that South Asian and female candidates were doing worse than average. So I thought I’d do a quick analysis of the data. I looked at cases where a party had two candidates in a ward, one of whom was female and one male, and also where a party had two candidates, one of whom was South Asian heritage and one was not.

Of the 51 instances of the first type, women got more votes on 22 occasions and men on 29 occasions. The total numbers of votes were:

female 89,962

male 92,726

Therefore in female-male matchups, women did on average 3% worse than men.


Of the 18 instances of the other type, the candidates of South Asian heritage got more votes 6 times and the other candidates did so 12 times. The total numbers of votes were:

South Asian 18,939

Other 19,906

In these matchups, South Asian heritage candidates did on average 5% worse.


I’ll leave it to the mathematicians to decide whether these differences are statistically significant. And even if they are, it’s really necessary to do a similar analysis of other years’ and other cities’ results.

Of course there are several factors involved in explaining why two candidates from the same party gained different numbers of votes. One is recognition/experience. Another, believe it or not, is alphabetical order. But this initial analysis hasn’t dispelled my initial perception.



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


2017: the marginals – some predictions

In News on June 8, 2017 by dadge

Clacton Douglas Carswell 3437 CON 69 2
Berwickshire Calum Kerr 328 CON 4000 26 0 0
Dunbartonshire E John Nicolson 2167 LD 2000 54 10
Edinburgh W Michelle Thomson 3210 LD 3000 49 5
Renfrewshire E Kirsten Oswald 3718 CON 1000 30 9 11
Caithness, Sutherland Paul Monaghan 3844 LD 500 15 25
Western Isles Angus MacNeil 4102 SNP 1000 23 7
Fife NE Stephen Gethins 4344 LD 1000 47 11
Ross, Skye Ian Blackford 5124 SNP 0 20
Edinburgh N & Leith Deidre Brock 5597 SNP 2 5 32
Paisley Mhairi Black 5684 SNP 3000 0 21
Dumfries & Galloway Richard Arkless 6514 CON 33 3
Aberdeenshire W CON 40 4
Moray CON 32 9
Stirling SNP 11 19
Edinburgh SW SNP 10 25
Ayr SNP 9 27
Arfon Hywel Williams 3668 PC 0 19
Dwyfor Meirionnydd Liz Saville Roberts 5261 PC 1 25
Carmarthen E Jonathan Edwards 5599 PC 1 4 20
Orkney & Shetland Alistair Carmichael 817 LD 1000 36 4
Southport John Pugh 1322 CON 2000 35 51
Carshalton & Wallington Tom Brake 1510 CON 2000 40 36
Sheffield Hallam Nick Clegg 2353 LD 4000 10 57
Leeds NW Greg Mulholland 2907 LD 2000 6.2 ? ? ?
Ceredigion Mark Williams 3067 LD 1500 40 6
Norfolk N Norman Lamb 4043 LD 1000 18 53
Westmorland LD 11 81
Chester  City Of Chris Matheson 93 CON 1000 46 8
Ynys Mon Albert Owen 229 PC 1000 14 9 22
Ealing Central & Acton Rupa Huq 274 LAB 2000 2.8 25 33
Wirral W Margaret Greenwood 417 CON 2000 33 6
Halifax Holly Lynch 428 CON 1000 41 5
Brentford & Isleworth Ruth Cadbury 465 LAB 1000 25 30
Ilford N Wes Streeting 589 CON 500 30 29
Cambridge Daniel Zeichner 599 LAB 500 53 47
Newcastle-under-Lyme Paul Farrelly 650 CON 3000 -2.1 30 4
Barrow & Furness John Woodcock 795 CON 1000 44 8
Wolverhampton SW Rob Marris 801 CON 3000 18 3
Enfield N Joan Ryan 1086 LAB 500 18 20
Hampstead & Kilburn Tulip Siddiq 1138 LAB 4000 2.8 22 41
Hove Peter Kyle 1236 LAB 500 22 44
Lancaster & Fleetwood Catherine Smith 1265 CON 1000 5 45 12
Dewsbury Paula Sherriff 1451 CON 3000 37 5
Wrexham Ian Lucas 1831 CON 1000 30 9 3
Derbyshire NE Natascha Engel 1883 CON 2000 48 7
Bridgend Madeleine Moon 1927 LAB 1000 2.2 23 11 2
Walsall N David Winnick 1937 CON 2000 20 4
Westminster N Karen Buck 1977 LAB 2000 1.5 12 50
Harrow W Gareth Thomas 2208 LAB 1000 30 20
Middlesbrough S Tom Blenkinsop 2268 CON 1000 42 9
Clwyd S Susan Elan Jones 2402 LAB 2000 15 7
Birmingham Northfield Richard Burden 2509 CON 1000 33 4
Stoke-on-Trent S Rob Flello 2539 CON 2000 25 8
Copeland Jamie Reed 2564 CON 2000 3.7 52 8
Blackpool S Gordon Marsden 2585 LAB 1000 28 6
Wakefield Mary Creagh 2613 CON 2000 48 15
Edinburgh S Ian Murray 2637 LAB 4000 40 1
Eltham Clive Efford 2693 LAB 500 28 23
Birmingham Edgbaston Gisela Stuart 2706 CON 1000 2.5 34 10
Tooting Sadiq Khan 2842 LAB 4000 8 50
Delyn David Hanson 2930 TIE 0 20 13 2
Gedling Vernon Coaker 2986 LAB 500 21 20
Birmingham Yardley Jess Phillips 3002 LAB 4000 2 39 14
Hartlepool Iain Wright 3024 LAB 1000 10 33
Scunthorpe Nic Dakin 3134 CON 500 17 7
Darlington Jenny Chapman 3158 CON 1000 33 21
Coventry S Jim Cunningham 3188 CON 1000 17 9
Burnley Julie Cooper 3244 LAB 5000 2 58 4
Alyn & Deeside Mark Tami 3343 LAB 500 11 19
Bishop Auckland Helen Goodman 3508 LAB 1000 32 13
Newport W Paul Flynn 3510 LAB 1000 13 20
Southampton Test Alan Whitehead 3810 LAB 1000 20 30
Bristol E Kerry McCarthy 3980 LAB 2000 20 28
Dudley N Ian Austin 4181 CON 500 18 4
Bolton NE David Crausby 4377 LAB 500 16 12
Hyndburn Graham Jones 4400 LAB 500 17 27
Bermondsey & Southwark Neil Coyle 4489 LAB 6000 46 24
Coventry NW Geoffrey Robinson 4509 CON 500 17 22
Chorley Lindsay Hoyle 4530 LAB 500 15 34
Great Grimsby Melanie Onn 4540 LAB 3000 11 12
Wirral S Alison McGovern 4599 CON 500 10 32
Workington Sue Hayman 4686 LAB 1000 16 23
Newport E Jessica Morden 4705 LAB 2000 9 15
Stoke-on-Trent N Ruth Smeeth 4836 LAB 1000 12 13
Bury S Ivan Lewis 4922 LAB 1000 22 24
Dagenham & Rainham Jon Cruddas 4980 LAB 3000 15 22
Cardiff Central Jo Stevens 4981 LAB 6000 25 5
Birmingham Erdington Jack Dromey 5129 LAB 1000 18 28
Stoke-on-Trent Central Tristram Hunt 5179 LAB 3000 8 25 1
Heywood & Middleton Liz McInnes 5299 LAB 2000 3 34
Mansfield Sir Alan Meale 5315 LAB 1000 30 28
Wolverhampton NE Emma Reynolds 5495 LAB 500 6 13
Bristol W Thangam Debbonaire 5673 LAB 2000 1 73 6 15
Luton S Gavin Shuker 5711 LAB 3000 ? ?
Worsley & Eccles S Barbara Keeley 5946 LAB 2000 10 23
Oldham E & Saddleworth Debbie Abrahams 6002 LAB 3000 12 30
Walsall S Valerie Vaz 6007 LAB 2000 4 15
Batley & Spen Jo Cox 6057 LAB 1000 1.8 14 48
Ellesmere Port & Neston Justin Madders 6275 LAB 3000 9 26
Bradford S Judith Cummins 6450 LAB 3000 4 26
Vauxhall LAB 51 5
Stalybridge 0 7
Don Valley 9 29
Doncaster C 4 37
Penistone 15 31
York 7 48
Sedgefield 0 6
Nott S 3 40
Leic W 2 26
Derby S 2 24
Ashfield 5 24
Selly Oak 5 28
Gower Byron Davies 27 CON 2000 25 7 2
Derby N Amanda Solloway 41 CON 2000 33 8
Croydon Central Gavin Barwell 165 LAB 1000 1.9 36 33
Vale Of Clwyd James Davies 237 CON 2000 17 6
Bury N David Nuttall 378 CON 3000 26 1
Morley & Outwood Andrea Jenkyns 422 CON 4000 36 9
Plymouth Sutton Oliver Colvile 523 CON 1000 3.3 ? ?
Thurrock Jackie Doyle-Price 536 CON 4000 35 3 3
Brighton Kemptown Simon Kirby 690 LAB 1000 25 14
Telford Lucy Allan 730 CON 2000 2 26 9
Eastbourne Caroline Ansell 733 CON 2000 28 8
Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale David Mundell 798 CON 5000 24 0 0
Bolton W Chris Green 801 CON 3000 28 3
Weaver Vale Graham Evans 806 CON 3000 32 3
Plymouth Moor View Johnny Mercer 1026 CON 3000
Lewes Maria Caulfield 1083 CON 3000 45 15
Bedford Richard Fuller 1097 CON 2000 2.5k
Lincoln Karl McCartney 1443 CON
Thornbury & Yate Luke Hall 1495 CON 44 4
Peterborough Stewart Jackson 1925 CON 37 7
Twickenham Tania Mathias 2017 LD 500 26 59
Cardiff N Craig Williams 2137 CON 13 1 1
Southampton Itchen Royston Smith 2316 CON
Waveney Peter Aldous 2408 CON
Corby Tom Pursglove 2412 CON 5000 2.7 37 5
St Ives Derek Thomas 2469 CON 500 41 27
Warrington S David Mowat 2750 CON 5000 21 0
Carlisle John Stevenson 2774 CON 4000 28 1
Thanet S Craig Mackinlay 2812 CON 5000 43 6 3
Kingston & Surbiton James Berry 2834 CON 1500 28 25
Richmond Park CON 33 59



In News on October 10, 2016 by dadge

Under the terms of the current (“2018”) UK parliamentary boundary review, Wales will be entitled to 29 seats at Westminster. This report describes a possible new geography of those 29 constituencies, and should be read in conjunction with the official rules and data.

The best way to view the proposals is on the map above. Since it’s based on Google Maps, it can be zoomed in or out, you can move the map about, and you can choose between a normal map and a satellite view. Click on any seat (on the number on the map or on the list alongside) and its electorate and ward information will be displayed. The full list of seats is accessed by clicking the symbol in the top left of the map, and you can get a full-screen map by clicking the symbol in the top right. An explanatory guide to the proposed seats can be found further down this page.

If you’d like to make an informal comment about any of the seats, please click on “Leave a comment” at the bottom of this page. If you’d like to make an official response to the boundary commission, about this plan or about your own ideas, email before 5/12/16.

For convenience, the country is divided into five areas:
North (7 seats)
Mid (5 seats)
South Central (8 seats)
Cardiff (3 seats)
South East (6 seats)

North Wales

The north of the country (the former counties of Gwynedd and Clwyd) has an entitlement to 6.66 seats. This can, and should, be rounded up to 7 seats, but it’s very difficult to make 7 suitable seats above the minimum size (71031 voters). Therefore a small part of Powys really needs to be added. It may be somewhat unpopular in Machynlleth to add it into a Gwynedd seat, but the town is clearly well connected with the areas to the north. The same cannot be said of the area around Llanrhaeadr-yn-Mochnant, which has very poor communications with Clwyd. Therefore the 3927 voters of the 3 wards around Machynlleth are included in the new Eryri seat. This also prevents the Eryri seat from needing to spread all the way across to Denbigh or Llangollen.

The Conwy valley is divided along the river between the Eryri seat and the Conwy seat, with the west (Caernarfonshire) side in the Eryri seat.

Anglesey doesn’t have enough voters for a seat on its own, so an area around Bangor is added, roughly equivalent ot the old Ogwen rural district.

In north east Wales, a good option might perhaps be to have a Rhyl/Flint seat and a Denbigh/Llangollen seat, but now that the lower limit is 71,000 there aren’t enough voters in the latter area for it to form a seat on its own. Therefore this plan includes a Rhyl/Denbigh seat and a Mold/Llangollen seat. The only direct route between the two parts of the latter constituency is via the A542 (Horseshoe Pass) but the two areas are not remote from one another and are capable of forming an effective unit.

Mid Wales

This region comprises the Powys, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire council areas, with a combined entitlement of 4.93 seats (or 5.09 after the transfer of the Machynlleth and Swansea Valley areas). The Swansea Valley (16,391 voters) is included in this area because of the links with the villages further up the Tawe.

Powys is too big for one seat, even without Machynlleth, so the Brecon and Tawe valley areas are included in a Camarthenshire seat. (A cross-border seat with Ceredigion would have the Cambrian mountains in between.) The resulting Powys seat is broadly satisfactory in that it keeps all the main Marcher areas together.

To bring them both up to size, the Ceredigion seat includes north Pembrokeshire and the area around Newcastle Emlyn, and the Pembroke seat includes the area around St Clears.

The division of the remaining area of Breconshire and Camarthenshire is open to debate; the decision has been taken to put Camarthen with Llanelli rather than with Brecon, Ystradgynlais and Pontardawe, but either is possible.

South Central

The entitlement for this area (Bridgend, Vale, RCT, Neath, Swansea) is 8.37. With an electorate of that size it’s not possible to construct 8 seats in quota, so the Swansea Valley is included in the Mid Wales region.

Clearly, South Wales is difficult to redistrict because of the way population is distributed below the high ridges. Four factors have come into play: council boundaries; communications; communities, plus considering which communities belong together or can be in different seats. Decisions which have affected the seats in the west and east of the area respectively are that the Gower seat should be as rural as possible, and that the Llantrisant/Llantwit Fardre area should be kept together.

Information on some areas included by seats:
Gower: Sketty, Gorseinon
Swansea: Fforest-fach, Clydach, Port Tennant
Neath: Llansamlet, Baglan, Cwmafan, Glyncorrwg
Ogmore & Aberavon: Pyle, Tondu, Tonyrefail
Bridgend: Porthcawl, Sarn, Pencoed, Llantwit Major
Barry: Cowbridge
Pontypridd: Llantrisant, Mountain Ash


Handily Cardiff (entitlement 3.03) is just the right size for 3 seats, and handier still the area weat of the Taf is the right size for one seat. The rest of the city can be divided (more or less along the A48) into a North seat and a Centre/Rumney seat (called Cardiff East).

South East

The entitlement of this area (Monmouth, Newport, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly) is 6.02 seats. Some of the outer parts of the Newport city council area (electorate 100,931) are included in neighbouring seats.

Information on some areas included by seats:
Merthyr & Rhymney: Gelligaer
Blaenau Gwent: Abercarn, Risca
Caerphilly: Blackwood, Duffryn
Newport: Rogerstone
Torfaen: Bettws, Malpas
Monmouth: Caerleon, Llanwern



In News on October 7, 2016 by dadge


Under the terms of the current (“2018”) UK parliamentary boundary review, Scotland will be entitled to 53 seats at Westminster. This report describes the possible new geography of those 53 constituencies, and should be read in conjunction with the official rules and data.

The best way to view the proposals is on the map above. Since it’s based on Google Maps, it can be zoomed in or out, you can move the map about, and you can choose between a normal map and a satellite view. Click on any seat (on the number on the map or on the list alongside) and its electorate and ward information will be displayed. The full list of seats is accessed by clicking the symbol in the top left of the map, and you can get a full-screen map by clicking the symbol in the top right. An explanatory guide to the proposed seats can be found further down this page.

If you’d like to make an informal comment about any of the seats, please click on “Leave a comment” at the bottom of this page. If you’d like to make an official response to the boundary commission, about this plan or about your own ideas, email before the end of 2016.

This report is broken down by area as follows:

Highlands and Islands – 6 seats
North East – 7 seats
Perth & Fife – 5 seats
North Central – 5 seats
South Central – 8 seats
Edinburgh and South – 9 seats
South West – 7 seats
Glasgow – 6 seats

The exact entitlements for various areas are shown on this map. In theory the Central area “owes” the Edinburgh/South area a ward, but the judgment call has been made that crossing the boundary for the sake of a few thousand voters would be too disruptive to the overall pattern of seats.

Highlands and Islands

Orkney & Shetland 33229
Na h-Eileanan an Iar 20887
Highlands North 77938
Highlands South 76334
Argyll & Bute 73889
Moray 78294*

As well as the island seats with protected status, namely Orkney & Shetland and Na h-Eileanan an Iar, this area includes the Highland, Moray and Argyll & Bute council areas. There is a legal limit on the geographical size of the seats in this area, and probably the best way to keep the seats within that limit is to divide Inverness between the two Highland seats, and include Badenoch & Strathspey in the Moray seat. Note that Lochaber is now split between the Argyll and Inverness-shire seats. If it’s felt that Caol should be in the same seat as Fort William, it can be added to the Argyll seat.

Names: if possible it would be good to come up with properly representative names for the two Highland seats that are not too cumbersome.

Unfortunately since the Moray seat would be illegally large (in terms of electorate) otherwise, it’s necessary to include a small area – Rothiemay and Grange, near Keith – in the Gordon seat. Although it’s possible to arrange the seats north and east of Aberdeen without dividing a ward (see here), this would create a 3-district seat stretching from Aberdeen to Kingussie.

North East

Banff & Buchan 77582
Gordon 74328*
Aberdeen North 78274
Aberdeen South 71961
Montrose 76952
Forfar 77988
Dundee 76317

Dundee is too large for one seat, and the Broughty Ferry and Fintry areas are included in the Forfar seat. The Montrose seat includes Arbroath and Stonehaven. Aberdeen City is just the right size for two seats.

Perth & Fife

Perth 72831
South Tay (North Fife & Strathearn) 75957
Glenrothes & Kinross 75077
Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath 73323
Dunfermline 78254

Although the North Fife-South Perthshire seat is something of a novelty, at this review it’s the only elegant solution, given the relative sizes of the two council areas. Also, Kinross has been paired with Glenrothes, but if it’s preferred, Kinross can be included in the South Tay seat in exchange for the East Neuk going into the Glenrothes seat.

North Central

West Dunbartonshire 77006
East Dunbartonshire 71846
Clackmannan & Stirling North 74113
Stirling South 77238
Falkirk 74092

This area corresponds approximately to the old counties of Stirlingshire and Dunbartonshire. The two current Dunbartonshire districts are entitled to two seats between them, but Milngavie needs to be in the West seat because of the numbers. This leaves the East seat as rather an odd shape, but that is of little consequence.

Stirling is split between a mainly north-of-the-river seat including Clackmannan and the Trossachs, and a southside seat going down to the small towns north of Falkirk. It is possible to have seat that includes all of Stirling, but that would mean the neighbouring seat would be slightly odd, combining Clackmannan with Denny and Stenhousemuir across the Kincardine bridges.

The Stirling South seat also includes Kilsyth. It’s a compact seat with good communications, but it is a three-council seat. The pattern of constituencies in the region is not as good if Kilsyth is removed and replaced with Grangemouth, but a possible arrangement can be seen here. (n.b. That map does not show the ward splits that would be required around Banknock, Bonnybridge and Wishaw.)

South Central

Cumbernauld & Airdrie 78098*
Coatbridge 73831
Livingston 74223
Strathalmond (Bathgate & Shotts) 74061*
Motherwell 78266*
Lanark 78248*
Hamilton 77592
East Kilbride & Rutherglen 77860*

This is a complex region covering the Lanarkshire and West Lothian council areas (except for Kilsyth). Every effort has been made not to split towns between constituencies, and this plan is successful when judged by that standard. Cumbernauld, Airdrie, Motherwell, Wishaw, Hamilton, East Kilbride and Livingston are not split between seats, except for a very small part of East Kilbride in the Lanark seat. One disadvantage of the plan is that Rutherglen is separated from Cambuslang.

There’s a new “Strathalmond” seat (Bathgate & Shotts) formed by the area between the main towns.

Edinburgh & South

Dumfries & Galloway 76394*
Roxburgh, Selkirk & Annandale (Borders South) 72456*
East Lothian 76153
Berwickshire & Peebles (Borders North) 71570
Midlothian 72173*
Edinburgh East 72944*
Leith & Queensferry 74438*
Edinburgh South (Pentlands) 75334
Edinburgh West 77294*

The decision has been taken to include Dumfries and Galloway council area in this region rather than with Ayrshire because the pattern of seats in the whole south of the country is better for it.

Lochar ward is split so that the whole of Dumfries town is in the Dumfries seat. The east Dumfries-shire area is in a new “South Borders” seat, alternatively called Roxburgh, Ettrick & Annandale. Although there is no motorway from Lockerbie to Jedburgh, there is a community of interest across the Teviothead.

The North Borders (Berwickshire & Peebles) seat is too small without part of Midlothian. The simplest arrangement is to add Penicuik and Loanhead. This side of Midlothian probably has more in common with Peebles than the other side of Midlothian (Dalkeith) has with Galashiels.

Edinburgh is entitled to 4.36 seats. There are three solutions to this problem. One is joining Edinburgh to East Lothian, but East Lothian is exactly the right size for a seat by itself. Another solution might be adding the Queensferry area to the Livingston seat, but there’s no room – so to do so would require rejigging a lot of constituencies. Finally, there is the possibility of crossing the Midlothian boundary. Liberton and Dalkeith make a reasonable combination. The main problem really is that in order to make up the numbers in the Midlothian seat, some of the Craigmillar ward also needs to be added.

Although the pattern of wards in Edinburgh could be ignored, the suggested plan is an attempt to suggest a simple arrangement of seats based mainly on ward boundaries. There’s just one split ward (Leith Walk) in addition to the one mentioned already. All of Leith is in one coastal seat with Queensferry.

South West

South Renfrewshire 77180
Paisley 77920*
Inverclyde (North Renfrewshire) 75885*
North Cunninghame 76827
South Cunninghame (Irvine) 72365
Kilmarnock & Cumnock 71824
Ayr 73853

This area comprises the six Ayrshire and Renfrewshire council areas. The South and North Cunninghame seats include part of Kyle and Inverclyde respectively. It is possible to form a North Cunninghame seat with Johnstone instead of Gourock (see here) but Johnstone and Arran would make slightly odd bedfellows.

East Renfrewshire council area is slightly too small for a seat by itself. This could be resolved by adding a chunk of Paisley, but the more elegant solution is probably the one chosen: swap Johnstone and Barrhead between the two seats. The Paisley seat thus formed would be slightly over quota – this can be solved by removing part of Renfrew, or, preferably, by adding the Ferguslie Park area (which has good connections to Linwood) to the North Renfrewshire seat.


Glasgow Craigton 73347*
Glasgow Cathcart 74012*
Glasgow Scotstoun 71996*
Glasgow Bridgeton 76415*
Glasgow Maryhill 74218*
Glasgow Provan 76365*

Glasgow is entitled to slightly under six seats, but there is no pressing need for a city seat to include part of a neighbouring district. As with Edinburgh, ward boundaries could be ignored, but in most parts of the city they work well as constituency boundaries, and the latter can be tweaked further if necessary.

There are three split wards: Craigton includes Kennishead from Newlands/Auldburn, Provan includes Royston from Springburn ward, and Scotstoun includes Kelvinhaugh from the Anderston ward.

Data table

A spreadsheet of the proposals can be downloaded here.

Note: an asterisk (*) next to an electorate total means that the seat includes both whole and part wards, and although the total is reasonably accurate based on the data currently available, it will be revised later as exact data comes online. Names in brackets are possible alternate names for constituencies. Locus gratefully acknowledges the invaluable help received from the Plan Builder online tool and the experts of the Vote UK forum.

The work of the author is copyright of the author. (c) Adrian Bailey 2016


2018 Review: Northern Ireland

In News on September 5, 2016 by dadge Tagged:

The parliamentary boundary review gets under way in earnest this week with the publication of the Northern Ireland commission‘s proposals for 17 new seats. The main issue continues to be whether Belfast gets three seats or four. This plan is for three seats wholly within the city’s borders:

Fermanagh & South Tyrone 72283
East Londonderry 73169
Foyle 73934
Keenaght & West Tyrone 75337
North Antrim 77141
Mid Antrim 77671
South Antrim 70000
Belfast North 70215
Belfast South 70266
Belfast East 72001
Strangford 76871
Ards 70529
Lisburn 75087
Craigavon 74668
South Down 69420
Newry 72168
Armagh & East Tyrone 72609