Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Boundary Commission confirms Devonwall plan - but it won't happen

The Boundary Commission has today published its revised proposals for Cornwall parliamentary constituencies. They have maintained the proposal of a cross-border Devonwall seat but with even more Devon wards thrown into the mix. Instead of being roughly 50-50, it would now be a seat heavily skewed in favour of Devon.

But while all of these new borders are fairly alarming, the good news is that they are a purely academic exercise since the Liberal Democrats announced that they would vote against the new boundaries in Parliament. Together with Labour, some of the smaller parties and a few Conservative rebels, there is a clear majority against the new boundaries.

North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson had this to say on the new boundaries:

"A cross-border seat makes no sense, and neither does a constituency that puts the Wadebridge and Padstow area together with St Austell.

"The Boundary Commission have ignored most of the sensible suggestions that they were given to improve upon their starting position. It is a shame that they could not have been more sympathetic to the views of my constituents as they have been expressed to me.

"Whilst the position of the Liberal Democrats on this exercise is clear - that we will vote against the plans to change constituency boundaries - I hope that Conservative MPs in Cornwall and in Devon will do the same to kill off this idea once and for all."

To be honest, it would make a lot more sense to stop the whole boundary review process and spend any money that can be saved on trying to improve registration rates. But it seems the Prime Minister is intent on pressing these boundaries to a pointless vote. If it does come to a vote, it will be interesting to see whether local Tory MPs vote with Cornwall or with their party whips.

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