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Review that reduces number of Welsh MPs from 40 to 32 to start this year

05 Jan 2021 2 minute read
Westminster. Picture by Maurice (CC BY 2.0)

A review that is set to reduce the number of Welsh MPs from 40 to 32 will begin this year.

The Boundary Commission for Wales is planning to redraw the geographical boundaries of constituencies based on population size.

This means, despite Wales losing 20 per cent of its representatives, the number of MPs across the UK will stay the same, at 650.

Parliamentary Constituencies Act, which recently received Royal Assent, set out the number of constituencies to be provided for the 2024 Westminster Parliamentary Election, and this will “diminish” the voice of Wales, according to grassroots pro-independence group YesCymru.

However, Tory Senedd candidate Calum Davies, who will be contesting Cardiff Central, but doesn’t want Wales to have its own national parliament, believes that Wales is “overrepresented” in Westminster.

England’s allocation of MPs will rise from 533 to 543, while the number of MPs in Scotland will be reduced 57 to 59, and in Northern Ireland the figure will remain at 18.

The Act sets out that all constituencies should have an electorate within 5 per cent of the UK average or quota. The UK electoral quota to the nearest whole number is 73,393, and each proposed constituency must therefore have an electorate that is between 69,724 and 77,062.


‘Less of a voice’

YesCymru said that the change meant that Wales would have less of a voice at Westminster.

“And so Wales’ voice in Westminster is diminished to the point of inconsequence,” they said.

“The lie that there’s any form of parity amongst the Nations of these islands is finally put to bed.”

Plaid Cymru said that “Wales will lose out more than any other nation in the UK as a result of this law – with our voice and representation diminished. Westminster just isn’t working for Wales.”

The Act will take into account five protected constituencies which must remain as they are out of geographical necessity – including Ynys Môn.

Under the legislation the Commission will be required to base its recommendations on the number of electors whose names appear on the register of parliamentary electors published by the Office for National Statistics on 5 January 2021.

The Commission will develop initial proposals for Wales’ Parliamentary constituencies ahead of a period of consultation. It must present its final report to the Speaker of the House of Commons by 1 July 2023.

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