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Tue Jan 29, 2013, 02:33 PM

Conservatives lose boundary review vote

Plans to redraw constituency boundaries before 2015, backed by the Tories, have been defeated in the House of Commons.

MPs voted by 334 to 292 to accept changes made by peers, meaning the planned constituency shake-up will be postponed until 2018 at the earliest.

It was the first time Lib Dem ministers have voted against their Conservative coalition colleagues in the Commons...

Labour and Lib Dem MPs were joined by those of smaller parties - including the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the DUP, the SDLP the Greens and Respect - to defeat the proposals, giving them majority of 42.


Glad to hear this - while reducing the number of constituencies might have its points, this was being done with the blatant intention of increasing Tories' chances. Also, good to see splits in the coalition, even if entirely based on self-interest on both sides.

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Reply Conservatives lose boundary review vote (Original post)
LeftishBrit Jan 2013 OP
pennylane100 Jan 2013 #1
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2013 #2
pennylane100 Jan 2013 #3
non sociopath skin Jan 2013 #4
LeftishBrit Jan 2013 #5

Response to LeftishBrit (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 03:14 PM

1. I remember reading about the vote by the House of Lords.

I did not know too much about their reasoning, I thought that it was about time the was an elected second body. Thanks for giving me another view of their vote. I would love to see Cameron unemployed after the next election.

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Response to pennylane100 (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 04:55 PM

2. It's all quite ironic

The Lib Dems wanted to reform the Lords to make it elected (which was also in the Tory manifesto, FWIW). But Tory backbenchers joined with Labour to defeat that in the Commons. So, in retaliation, (unelected) Lib Dem Lords joined with Labour Lords to wreck the reorganisation of the Commons constituencies (which was a Tory policy, but which, up to that point, the Lib Dems had been supporting as part of the coalition agreement). And now the Lib Dems in the Commons (and Labour) have stuck with that, so nothing has got changed in the Commons or Lords.

Tactically, Labour have won - they've blocked the constituency seat changes, which would have hurt them the most. It's meant the Lords has stayed as an unelected chamber, which annoys me, but Labour doesn't care about that.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:30 PM

3. Thanks for the great information

I must say I am surprised that Labour would not care about an unelected chamber. That would seem to go against all their principles. But I am sure they see some tactical advantage in it for them. I personally would love to see both chamber elected and more accountable to the people. It amazes me that such an elitist system has survived for so long.

I had hoped that the Lib Dems do a better job as part of the coalition government but that does not seem to have happened. They do not seem to have used their brief spell of power very wisely. Again, thanks for the great info.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:59 AM

4. There is probably a need for a boundary review ...

... but it needs to be done rationally and as "apolitically" as possible. In my experience, the Boundary Commission are pretty even-handed when given a sensible brief, which they clearly weren't in this instance.

BTW, if we have the argument about whether we have "too many" MPs, can we factor in their constuuency responsibilities too? We've been fortunate enough to have three excellent constituency MPs in a row and I know that they struggle to keep abreast of their casework. The proposed review would have made the constituency much larger (and much poorer, economically) which wouldn't have been good news.

The Skin

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Response to non sociopath skin (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 08:47 AM

5. Good point..

I gather that many MPs struggle to be both good constituency MPs and good Parliamentary representatives, especially if their constituency is a long way from London, and often one of the two suffers in the end. Of course there are plenty of MPs who are too incompetent, idle, or plain vicious to be good at either, however small a constituency they had; but I see the problem. There is a general tendency for current thought to see 'efficiency' as meaning 'employing as few staff as possible' whch often means the opposite of efficient from the user's or customer's point of view. I suppose it can apply to MPs as well as other staff.

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