- October 18, 2017
The proposed alterations to constituency boundaries were published yesterday. Examination of these changes suggests that the country’s only Green MP – Caroline Lucas, would have greater electoral safety.
In the initial proposals that were released last year by the Boundary Commission – which is in the process of redrawing Britain’s electoral map, Caroline Lucas’s seat of Brighton Pavilion looked set to lose a large number of the safer Green areas.
Yesterday’s amended plans would instead keep the St Peter’s and North Laine ward – which elected 3 Green councillors to Brighton & Hove City Council – in the redrawn Brighton Pavilion constituency.
The Pavilion seat would also extend further east to include the Moulsecoomb and Bevendean ward. However, Regency ward (a Green stronghold at council level) would move westwards to become a part of the Hove seat – which would become the Hove and Regency constituency.
Commenting on the plans, Caroline Lucas said: “The latest version of the boundary review is certainly an improvement on the last iteration.
“I still believe that plans to reduce the number of MPs is unnecessary at best, and anti-democratic at worst – and while we keep our outdated electoral system it strikes me that this kind of tinkering will always be destined to fail the people of this country.”
She also said that whilst she thought it was wrong that Pavilion would lose its access to the sea, it was good “to see the distinction between Brighton and Hove retained.”
Mr Kyle said: “The latest round of proposed changes to constituencies is less radical for our city, but further underlines what a monumental waste of time and money this whole process is.
“There’s no way Theresa May will have the stomach to drive this through parliament.”
In East Brighton, the original proposals were most far-reaching geographically, adding swathes of Tory-voting costal East Sussex to Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle’s seat which would now stretch almost as far as Eastbourne.
Woodingdean would remain in the seat under the revised plans, but the constituency would now run as far as Seaford, whilst removing large parts of Newhaven.
Mr Russell-Moyle said he thought there should be a Kemptown and Lewes constituency as the Boundary Commission originally proposed in 2012.
He added that he “would be delighted” to represent “the good people of Seaford” should the plans go ahead and if he were to win the seat at the next general election.
The public consultation on this round of proposals is open until December 11. Details are available at http://www.bce2018.org.uk
By Clare Calder