Effects of possible boundary changes explained by MP

Norman Baker MP
Norman Baker MP

POLEGATE and Seaford MP Norman Baker has responded to claims he could lose his seat under the boundary changes scheme as ‘pure speculation’.

Mr Baker spoke out following the news of plans to cut 650 MPs to 600 in a bid to ensure all constituencies are roughly the same size.

The four Boundary Commissions, representing England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, have only recently begun their work and are not due to unveil the new constituencies until September.

However, analysis by the political research organisation Democratic Audit at the University of Liverpool predicts the Liberal Democrats could be badly affected and lose up to a quarter of their current MPs.

Under the Democratic Audit model, the Conservatives would lose 16 seats, with one likely to be in Kent.

That would represent about five per cent of their total.

Labour could lose 17, more than 6.6 per cent of their current seats and the Liberal Democrats could lose as many as 14, which is almost a quarter of their total.

But Transport Minister Mr Baker said there were endless ways of producing a map that consisted of 50 fewer MPs.

Mr Backer added, “It’s four years away and it’s not quite clear what the Boundary Commission will do.

“It may be that some of Eastbourne comes into Lewes or it may be that it’s split in half which would make it stronger for the Conservatives.

“It’s pure speculation what the boundaries will be and any scheme will have to be agreed by Parliament.

“There are endless possibilities as to what will happen with the Lewes seat, Eastbourne seat or any other seat.”

Mr Baker has been MP since 1997 and is currently Parliamentary Under Secretary for the Department of Transport.