Good news on 66% and does 1 Consituency = 1 Isle Of Wight?

In Nick Clegg’s statement today:

The Bill will require the Boundary Commissions to set new constituencies within 5% of a target quota of registered electors, with just two exceptions: Orkney and Shetland, and the Western Isles.

So given that it is very hard to combine the Isle of Wight (or part of it) with the mainland, does this mean that it will be our size indicator for new constituencies? If so then the size must have the Isle of Wight within 5% of it.

In 2010 the electorate was 103,480, so that gives a range of averages from 98552 to 108926 if the IoW is one of the two extremes:

Minimum

Average

Maximum

103480

108926

114373

93624

98552

103480

Of course the Isle might be a middle value. These sizes will also make Orkney & Shetland, and the Western Isles even more anomalous.

Nick Clegg’s statement will hopefully put to bed the ridiculous fake misunderstandings about the 55%66%. Just to be clear he says:

First – traditional powers of no confidence will be put into law, and a vote of no confidence will still require only a simple majority.

I do hope Labout ranters note this: at the moment if a government loses a confidence motion it doesn’t legally have to go. It will of course, but it doesn’t have to. Nick goes on:

Second – if, after a vote of no confidence, a Government cannot be formed for 14 days, Parliament will be dissolved and a General Election will be held.

It wasn’t unusual to change executive and even party without a new election in the twentieth century: Conservative Balfour, for example handed over to Liberal Campbell-Bannerman in 1905 as Asquith could form a government in the exisiting parliament.

The rise from 55% to 2/3 for dissolution is good news. It takes the power to dissolve parliament out of the hands of most Governments. That power gave Thatcher and Blair a huge advantage in picking the timing of the election that they used well. Brown didn’t.

Looks like good stuff. Annoying that the news cycle is rightly dominated by something far nastier.

No news on Lord Reform expected before Summer it appears.

Update 16:47
Nick has just said he anticipates the average size being around 75,000. So what will the arrangements around the Isle of Wight be?(Or Ynys Mon at 49831 come to that)

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2 Comments

Filed under AV, coalition, elections, electoral reform, Nick Clegg

2 responses to “Good news on 66% and does 1 Consituency = 1 Isle Of Wight?

  1. This feels like a gerrymander. If the motivation is to make all constituencies the same size then what can be the reason for leaving Orkney & Shetland (electorate 33k) on it's own. As a Labour activist I was fairly ambivalent about equal constituency size, the small inner city seats that Labour hold would have to merge, but so would the sparsely populated rural seats the Coalition gain. Net effect something like 8-10 extra onto the Coalition's majority. Not something to get concerned about. But if the Coalition wishes to keep the unequal bits that benefit them while getting rid of the unequal bits that benefit Labour then that's a gerrymander.This proposal is anything but fair.

  2. I have some sympathy with that. Orkney is nearer the mainland than it is Shetland. On the other hand Shetland has real issues connected with it being so far away.I would just observe that Western Isles is not a cooalition seat and is the other one protected.Part of me thinks we should merge the two seats, but I'd imagine that people from the Western Isles and Orkney will be along to explain why not. Perhaps take some of the other Scottish islands.I'd also say that two seats is a rather small proportion of the total. I admit this is a weak argument though. (Alright it is a painfully thin figleaf that doesn't even stop an angry look.)What is far more unfair is that the SNP need 81897 (and a bit) votes per seat, the LibDems 119944, and Labour only 33370. Shame we only get AV and not STV but coalition needs compromises. I didn't mention the Greens. Even if all 3 million of the missing voters were to vote Labour it only goes to 45k.To be rhetorical: why are Labour votes worth so much more?Thanks for the comment. Nice to have a reader!

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