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North East set to lose two MPs: is this ‘levelling up’?

The bridges on the river Tyne, North East
The bridges on the Tyne
Photo by Richard Abbot-Brailley

The North East is on course to lose two constituencies and therefore two MPs before the next election. This comes as a result of boundary changes from a new independent review by the Boundary Commission. It is difficult to see how this fits with ‘levelling up’.

The rationale is to even up the number of constituents across constituencies. The plan is to have between 69,724 and 77,062 registered voters in each constituency. There are exceptions for places like Angelsey and the Isle of Wight.

How does this affect the North East?

The number of North East constituencies reduces from 29 to 27 if the government approves the plans. There are two constituencies which would be absorbed into others. These are North Tyneside and Houghton and Sunderland South. Interestingly both have Labour MPs. Mary Glindon represents North Tyneside and Bridget Philipson is MP for Houghton and Sunderland South.

And across the whole of England, Wales and Scotland?

The overall effect across England is that the south gains 12 seats and the north loses 8 seats. Again interesting and possibly not surprising.

Wales loses eight seats, Scotland loses two and England gains ten seats.

Maybe what we actually need is a different voting system?

Public consultation

Boundary Commission Secretary, Tim Bowden described the review as “initial thoughts” and explained that the public would be consulted to “ensure that we get the new boundaries for parliamentary constituencies right”.

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