What Next On The Redrawing Of Parliamentary Constituency Boundaries?
HC 600, Eighth Report of Session 2014-15 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes Relating to the Report
- House of Commons - Political And Constitutional Reform Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011 (see below) fundamentally changed the way in which reviews of parliamentary constituencies boundaries are conducted, the report 'What Next On The Redrawing Of Parliamentary Constituency Boundaries? (HC 600)' recommends a deadline for any future reviews of these rules.
The new rule, which requires the electorate of all but four constituencies to be within 5% of the UK average number of electors for a constituency, meant that the Boundary Commissions were unable to give adequate consideration to other factors.
Although there is a case for the electorates of parliamentary constituencies to be more equal than is the case at present, the Boundary Commissions must be able to take a balanced approach to various considerations - including reflecting local ties and limiting disruption to existing constituencies. If no action is taken, the next boundary review will commence in early 2016.
It is recommended that the rules be changed - including relaxing the 5% rule and reversing the reduction of the number of parliamentary constituencies to 600 - ahead of the next boundary review. To achieve this the next Government should make a statement no later than June 2015 on its policy on the rules for the distribution of parliamentary constituencies. This statement should respond to the recommendations set out in this report.
The Government should in July 2015 publish a draft Bill for pre-legislative scrutiny and introduce a Bill in the autumn of 2015 to receive Royal Assent by early 2016.
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