constituency size

Wales' New Political Map: Maths Matters, Communities Don't

11th January 2012
11 Jan 2012
Tags: 
wales
boundary review
constituency size
women's representation

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Wales' New Political Map: Maths Matters, Communities Don't

The Electoral Reform Society Wales has commented on the publication of new Welsh parliamentary boundaries. [1]

The Society has attacked the thankless task handed to the Boundary Commission for Wales. It is now calling on the UK Government to reassess the extremely tight variance of 5% between constituency sizes – which has meant many Westminster seats will cross and break up traditional communities in favour of large new artificial constituencies such as “North Powys”, and the “Heads of the Valleys”.

Unlike changes to Scotland’s political map, no Welsh seats have been protected under these proposals.

Stephen Brooks, Director of the Electoral Reform Society Wales said:

If Wales’ new boundaries seem to fly in the face of common sense then responsibility rests with the UK government.

The Boundary Commission for Wales was dealt a bad hand. The UK Government’s 'One Size Fits All' approach was never going to work for Wales. The UK Government chose to ignore the existence of our mountains and valleys in order to fit a bureaucratic formula. It’s a vision of equality where the maths matters but our communities don’t.

Key Points

  • The Boundary Commission for Wales has published detailed proposals reducing the number of Welsh MPs from 40 to 30.
  • No Welsh seats have been protected under the proposals. Exceptions have been made for two of Scotland’s seats - Na h-Eileanan an Iar (the Western Isles) and Orkney and Shetland.
  • The constituencies must now have a number of electors set at between 72,810 and 80,473 – the maximum ‘5% variance’. A wider variance would have allowed the Commission to be more sympathetic to geography and traditional communities. Conservative cabinet minister Baroness Warsi has already dubbed the revised constituency map of England both "mad and insane".
  • It is likely that the cut in the number of seats will disproportionately effect the proportion of women elected to parliament from Wales in the next UK general election.

ENDS

Notes to Editors
The Electoral Reform Society Wales aims to build a better democracy by ensuring that the electoral processes of Westminster & Wales are fair and accountable. ERS Wales’ report on the Conservatives’ “Reduce and Equalise” policy, including our own boundary proposals in the appendix, can be found here

Map Gwleidyddol Newydd Cymru: “Maths sy’n Bwysig, nid Cymunedau”

Mae Cymdeithas Newid Etholiadol Cymru wedi ymateb i gyhoeddi ffiniau seneddol newydd Cymru.

Mae’r Gymdeithas wedi datgan gwrthwynebiad i’r “dasg diddiolch” a osodwyd ar Gomisiwn Ffiniau i Gymru. Mae’r Gymdeithas nawr yn galw ar y llywodraeth i ail-asesu ei pholisi o adael gwahaniaeth o dim ond 5% yn maint gwahanol etholaethau – fformiwla hynod dynn sy’n golygu fod nifer o seddi San Steffan yn croesi ar draws neu’n torri drwy cymunedau i ffafrio etholaethau mawr artiffisial fel “Gogledd Powys”, a “Pen y Cymoedd”.
Yn wahanol i newidiadau ym map wleidyddol yr Alban, nid oes unryw un o seddi Cymru wedi’i amddiffyn rhag y argymhellion yma.

Dywedodd Stephen Brooks, Cyfarwyddwr Cymdeithas Newid Etholiadol Cymru:

Os yw ffiniau gwleidyddol newydd Cymru i weld yn mynd yn erbyn synnwyr cyffredin mae’r cyfrifoldeb ar Lywodraeth San Steffan.

Cafodd y Comisiwn Ffiniau i Gymru dasg diddiolch i’w gyflawni. Doedd agwedd “un maint i bawb” y Llywodraeth byth am weithio i Gymru. Dewisodd Llywodraeth San Steffan anwybyddu bodolaeth ein mynyddoedd a chymoedd i ffitio fformiwla biwrocrataidd. Mae’n weledigaeth o gydraddoldeb ble mae maths yn hollbwysig, ond nid ein cymunedau.”

Pwyntiau Allweddol

  • Mae Comisiwn Ffiniau i Gymru newydd gyhoeddi argymhellion manwl yn torri nifer ASau Cymru o 40 i 30.
  • Nid oes yr un sedd yng Nghymru wedi’i amddiffyn rhag y argymhellion rhain. Cafodd eithriadau eu gwneud i ddau sedd yn yr Alban – Na h-Eileanan an Iar ac Orkney a Shetland.
  • Mae’n rhaid i’r etholaethau nawr gael nifer o etholwyr rhwn 72,810 a 80,473 – y gwahaniaeth fwyaf bosib o 5% o’r maint cyfartal. Mi fuasai gwahaniaeth o ganran uwch wedi galluogi y Comisiwn i fod yn fwy ymatebol i ddaearyddiaeth a chymunedau. Mae’r gweinidog cabinet Ceidwadol, Barwnes Warsi, esisoes wedi galw’r map newydd yn Lloegr yn “mad and insane”.
  • Mae’n debygol y bydd y toriad yn nifer y seddi yn cael effaith anghyfrannol ar y nifer o ferched fydd yn cael eu ethol i Dy’r Cyffredin o Gymru yn yr etholiad nesaf.


Nodiadau i Olygyddion

Mae Cymdeithas Newid Etholiadol Cymru yn ymgyrchu i adeiladu gwell ddemocratiaeth drwy sicrhau fod prosesau San Steffan a Chymru yn deg ac yn atebol. Mae adroddiad CNE Cymru ar bolisi “Torri a Chysoni” y Ceidwadwyr, gan gynnwys ein argymellion ffiniau ni yn yr appendics, i’w weld yma.

Scotland's New Political Map – 'One Size Doesn't Fit All'

13th October 2011
13 Oct 2011
Tags: 
scotland
devolution
boundaries
boundary commission for scotland
constituency size

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07940523842
Scotland’s New Political Map – 'One Size Doesn't Fit All'

The Electoral Reform Society Scotland has commented on the publication of new Scottish parliamentary boundaries. [1]

Publication comes little over a week after Conservative cabinet minister Baroness Warsi dubbed the revised constituency map of England both "mad and insane". [2]

The Society has attacked the "thankless task" handed to the Boundary Commission for Scotland. It is now calling on the government to reassess the extremely tight variance of 5% between constituency sizes – which has meant 16 Westminster seats will cross council boundaries, breaking up traditional communities such as Ayr and Dunfermline.



The Society has attacked the "thankless task" handed to the Boundary Commission for Scotland. It is now calling on the government to reassess the extremely tight variance of 5% between constituency sizes - as new rules mean 16 Westminster seats will cross council boundaries, breaking up traditional communities such Ayr and Dunfermline.

Willie Sullivan, Director of the Electoral Reform Society Scotland said:
If Scotland's new boundaries seem as "mad and insane" as England's then responsibility must lie with the British government.

"The Boundary Commission for Scotland was given a thankless task. This government's rigid 'One Size Fits All' approach was never going to fit Scotland - its cold mathematical vision of equality flies in the face of real communities, simple geography and common sense.

"The call for equal size seats dates back to the Chartists, but we doubt they would recognise the results. Instead the government risks making the constituency link a thing of the past."
 
Key Points
  • The Boundary Commission for Scotland has published detailed proposals reducing the number of Scottish MPs from 59 to 52.

  • Only two of Scotland’s seats - Na h-Eileanan an Iar (the Western Isles) and Orkney and Shetland – have been protected under the proposals.

  • The remaining 50 constituencies must now have a number of electors set at between 72,810 and 80,473 – the maximum ‘5% variance’. A wider variance would have allowed the Commission to be more sympathetic to geography and traditional communities.

  • The Boundary Commission has been forced to draw 16 proposed mainland seats that spread across two local authority boundaries. Ayr is now split between Kyle and Cumnock and North Ayrshire and Arran, Dunfermline is now split into Clackmannanshire and Dunfermline West and Dunfermline East.

  • Likely casualties include the seat of Scotland’s only Conservative MP David Mundell whose Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale constituency has been split three ways.
     
For comment contact Willie Sullivan, Director of ERS Scotland on 07940523842
 
 
[2] See Lady Warsi: some proposed boundary changes are 'mad and insane', Patrick Wintour, The Guardian, 3 October 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/oct/03/baroness-warsi-boundary-changes-mad