At last, we got to see the Boundary Commission’s final proposals for the whole of London. With an electorate totalling 5,266,904, it is proposed that the current number of constituencies is reduced from 73 to 68. The implications of these proposals are not insignificant and will inevitably alter the political complexion of parliamentary seats. For example, some constituencies like Westminster North will get wiped off the the political map altogether, making it highly unlikely we’ll have a Labour MP in this part of the City of Westminster representing Paddington essentially.
It is odd how some of these proposals have come about in a process which was supposed to be totally transparent. For example, the original proposal was to link the City of Londonwith Islington. In the now final stages of the proposals, what’s transpired is a suggestion is to link the City Of Londonwith the City of Westminster again. As a result, labour held wards like Westbourne in the City of Westminster find themselves in the new seat of Cities of London & Westminster and Queens Park & Harrow Wards could be absorbed by into a new Kensington seat! . The remaining 5 wards on and off the Edgware Rd find themselves in Camden Town & Regents Park as shown in the map above. This is how the present seat of Westminster North gets carved up and disappears completely.
These changes will only happen if the Lib Dems agree to them as part of the coalition agreement. Reports suggest that they won’t agree to sign up to the proposed boundary changes because the Tories have failed to deliver on the Lord’s reforms. That said, there is still the chance of a trade-off in relation to the issue of state party funding. Given how much little funding the Lib Dem party receives, this might just persuade them to rubber stamp these changes which will be at the expense of losing unique nuggets like a Labour Parliamentary seat in Westminster representing Paddington. If this is a political reality its a shame for the future of local democracy.