Monday, June 06, 2011

Wesminster Constituencies - Boundary changes to come in the Highlands?

The ConDem government is set to change a lot of boundaries for Westminster Constituencies. It is going to be a major shake-up and it seems that the LibDems might suffer as a consequence. Here's what the Guardian has to see about a couple of local heroes:

"Charles Kennedy v Danny Alexander: Charles Kennedy's Ross, Skye & Lochaber seat could gain a large part of the votes from Danny Alexander's Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey seat, creating a conflict between the two, often seen as opposite ends of the Lib Dem spectrum. Labour believes a Lib Dem amendment limiting the geographical size of a constituency to match the current largest, which happens to be Kennedy's, was put in as a fix to prevent such a standoff. But now it is known any seat can be affected, there could be crucial changes at the margins nonetheless". More here on the Guardian.

This observer might suggest that whatever the boundaries of Danny's seat it might fall to one of the Westminster opposition parties in the Highlands, probably the SNP if their Holyrood results translate into Westminster numbers next time round, if not there could still be a comeback by Labour to take the seat. Charles Kennedy would probably survive any anti LibDem surge as the voters won't see him as such a toxic asset.


posted cold sober said...

Unlike his party Charles Kennedy does still enjoy quite a degree of respect, but the boundary changes will be yet another blow to the now frail Lib Dems.

Perhaps it will see Mr Kennedy stand as an Independent candidate, as continued association to the Lib Dems is surely a guaranteed vote loss

Jim said...

Personally, I can't see any logical argument against each parliamentary Constituency being of approximately similar size. (OK, the Isle of Wight - with 104,000 voters - and any other islands involved are a special case).

Also, reducing the number of Westminster MPs by 50 overall isn't that bad a plan.

The LibDem manifesto at the 2010 election carried a pledge to reduce Westminster by a more dramatic 150 MPs.

It seems unfortunate that in fact the LibDems may be most affected by the changes. A Guardian article yesterday forecast they would lose 14 seats as a result of the proposals by the Boundary Comission.

Will this affect Scotland much? Possibly not. A new Labour leader in Scotland (in the Autumn) with a more positive approach could win support back for Labour.

This probably would not impact on the SNP independence plans anyway.