The more than two million voters have joined the rolls across the UK since the electoral registration snapshot was taken in December 2015 [Image: Dinendra Haria/Rex/Shutterstock].

The more than two million voters have joined the rolls across the UK since the electoral registration snapshot was taken in December 2015 [Image: Dinendra Haria/Rex/Shutterstock].


Of course it is only right that any changes to constituency boundaries must be based on the most up-to-date data, and not on a ‘snapshot’ that may benefit one party more than another.

It is heartening to see that supporters of the current process, which seems set to cause turmoil to Labour-held constituencies, say the addition of the new electors will not necessitate any changes.

It means they should offer no objections to the addition of those voters to the boundary calculations.

Labour has called for the government to halt its shakeup of parliamentary constituencies, arguing that the rush of new voters before the EU referendum means the proposed changes will be out of date and “an affront to democracy”.

The plan to trim the UK’s 650 Commons seats to 600 and balance the number of registered voters in each has been in train since 2011. The boundary commissions for England and Wales will publish their initial recommendations on Tuesday.

Together these will form the bulk of what is being billed as the most extensive shakeup of Commons boundaries in the postwar era, with 50 seats to be abolished and hundreds more seeing major changes.

Labour, which is forecast to see the greatest turbulence in its seats, has called for the process to be delayed to allow the constituency changes to be based on more up-to-date data.

The 2011 Act which began the process decreed that the independent electoral commissioners for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland should base their calculations on electoral registration snapshots from December 2015.

But since then more than 2 million voters have joined the rolls across the UK, a rush of new voters inspired in part by June’s Brexit referendum.

Supporters of the process dismiss charges of unfairness, saying that the new electors are mainly distributed across the country, with three-quarters of seats seeing voter numbers change within two percentage points on the national average.

Source: Labour wants Commons constituency shakeup to be based on new data | Politics | The Guardian

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