WIRRAL WEST: Set to go Tory after boundary changes
The Conservatives could be in line to gain another seat in our region amid major changes to the political map.
Currently, Labour has all but one of the seats in Merseyside, with Damien Moore the Conservatives’ sole representative in Southport.
However, the boundary commission has proposed a whole series of changes to constituencies across the country in order to make each seat as equally sized in terms of voters as possible.
In our region, the two biggest changes this causes are in Wirral.
Labour’s Margaret Greenwood has represented Wirral West since she took the seat from former Tory MP Esther McVey in 2015, but she is set to lose out from the boundary review.
Analysis carried out for the New Statesman shows that if people vote as they did in the last general election next time around, Wirral West will fall to the Tories.
At the last election Ms Greenwood had a majority of 3,003, but this would evaporate due to two key changes.
Firstly, the Upton ward would be split in two along the boundary of the A5027.
The northern half of the ward, containing Upton itself, would be taken away from Wirral West and added to the Wallasey constituency, the remainder of which is unchanged.
The southern half of the ward, containing Woodchurch, would remain within Wirral West, but Heswall and Clatterbridge, both of which have Conservative councillors, would be added to Wirral West.
Another key part of the boundary changes is to cut Wirral’s number of MPs down from four to three.
The remaining Wirral-only constituencies will be Birkenhead, Wallasey, and Wirral West.
Alison McGovern’s Wirral South seat would be abolished with its wards added to other seats.
This could push her out of the Commons unless she gets selected to fight another seat.
As said previously, the Wirral South wards of Heswall and Clatterbridge will join Wirral West, while Bebington enters the Birkenhead constituency.
Bromborough and Eastham would join wards in Cheshire West and Chester to become part of the Ellesmere Port constituency.
Other losses in our region include the Liverpool constituency of Walton – currently held by Dan Carden – which would be abolished under the plans, with a new Liverpool Norris Green constituency created.
The new Liverpool Norris Green constituency would include the wards of Clubmoor, County, Croxteth, Fazakerley, Molyneux, Norris Green and Warbreck.
Maria Eagle’s current Garston and Halewood constituency would be divided up too.
A new Liverpool Garston patch would include the areas of Woolton, Speke-Garston, Belle Vale, Church, Cressington and Allerton and Hunts Cross.
The Halewood side would be incorporated into a new Widnes and Halewood constituency – with a new Runcorn and Helsby seat also created – meaning the removal of the Halton constituency.
Across the country the plans would see the current total of 650 MPs remain.
The number in England would rise from 533 to 543, while Scotland would lose two, bringing its numbers down to 57.
Wales would lose eight seats, leaving it with just 32 of the 40 seats it currently has, while Northern Ireland would continue to have 18 MPs.
Responding to the plans, Cat Smith, Labour’s shadow minister for democracy, said: “The review of parliamentary constituencies is a crucial democratic step and Labour will engage fully and constructively in the consultation.
“But the Conservative Government’s one-size-fits-all approach to the exact size of constituencies has made the Boundary Commission’s work much harder, and will inevitably lead to the break-up of historic community ties across the UK.”
A cabinet office spokesperson said: “Fundamentally, voters deserve to have confidence that their vote counts the same, no matter where it is cast in the UK.
“More equally sized parliamentary constituencies provides this assurance, which is why the Boundary Commissions will propose constituencies whose electorates vary in size by no more than +/- 5% from the average.
“This allows the Commissions the flexibility to take account of other factors, such as physical geographical features and local ties, subject to the overriding principle of equality in constituency size.”
Words: George Morgan, Local Democracy Reporter
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