Boundary Commission review 2021: proposals for constituency changes explained - and which areas will lose MPS?

Changes to the UK electoral map will see a shake-up of seats across England, Wales and Scotland

Boundary Commission review 2021: proposals for constituency changes explained - and which areas will lose MPS? (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Wales, the North of England and Scotland are set to lose out under new recommendations for changes to the UK’s electoral boundaries.

The Boundary Commission for England published its recommendations for changing the UK’s parliamentary constituencies.

Sign up to our NationalWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Changes to constituency boundaries happen periodically, with the last set of changes coming into effect in 2010.

What is the boundary review?

Officially known as the Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies, boundary reviews are undertaken to try and maintain fairness in the electoral system.

Boundary reviews are intended to account for changes in the level and distribution of the population across the country, to make sure each area has adequate political representation.

The current review is aimed at evening out the number of people in each constituency, which will result in a drop in the number of constituencies in Wales and Scotland, with England set to gain ten seats.

Each constituency will need to have between 69,724 and 77,062 registered voters, with the exception of some island constituencies, including the Isle of Wight and Anglesey.

While some previous reviews have changed the total number of constituencies, on this occasion it will remain at 650.

The last boundary review to be carried out recommended reducing the total number of seats to 600, but was delayed and eventually scrapped.

How will different parts of the country be impacted?

Although the total number of seats will remain the same, this boundary review will mean changes to the vast majority of constituencies, with only around 10 per cent likely to remain the same.

Many MPs will see shifts in the size and make-up of their constituencies, which could have an impact on their chances for re-election.

Due to population shifts, some parts of the UK will see their representation in parliament decrease.

In England, the North East, North West and West Midlands are each set to lose two seats, while Yorkshire and Humber will remain the same.

The East Midlands will gain one seat, while London will gain two and the East of England and the South West will each pick up an extra three seats.

However, the South-East of England is set to increase its number of seats by seven, to a total of 91.

While the relevant Boundary Commissions are yet to publish reports on the specifics, the review is likely to mean a reduction of eight seats in Wales, to 32, and 2 seats in Scotland, to 57.

Will these changes come into effect?

While the review will affect the whole of the UK, each region’s Boundary Commission will publish its own report.

The reports by Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland’s Boundary Commissions are expected to be published in the next couple of months.

Each publication will be followed by a public consultation, and be subject to revisions.

All stages of consultation will be finished by 1 July 2023, with the government likely to make some changes before implementing the plans by the end of that year.