Electoral law is in the news again in the UK, and this time it’sWales’ turn. Radical plans to reduce the number of constituencies in Wales were published by the Boundary Commission this week. But what do they mean for Wales? One of the first Bills introduced to the UK Parliament by the coalition government formed in May 2010 involved reducing the number of MPS from 650 to 600. The Coalition justified this on the basis that it would save the country money. The reputation of MPs was low at the time on the back of the expenses scandal so it was popular policy. However, partisan calculations were not doubt present as well.
Boundaries are proposed in the UK by independent bodies called Boundary Commissions, not by politicians themselves (thankfully!). Reducing the number of MPs requires reducing the number constituencies so they have been busy drawing up new proposal to cut the UK electoral map into 600 rather than 650 pieces. Plans have already been published for Scotland andEngland. This week it was Wales’ turn.