Tories Optimistic They Have Numbers For Boundaries Vote

Guido hears Number 10 are increasingly optimistic that they have the numbers to proceed with boundary reforms which would cut the number of MPs to 600 and reduce the electoral bias towards Labour. The DUP have softened their opposition to the proposals, with their MPs apparently convinced they won’t lose their seats and may even be able to remove independent Sylvia Hermon. Nigel Dodds is less keen and still fears the reforms could reduce unionist representation. The DUP’s dilemma has been whether to back boundary reform, reduce Corbyn’s chances of becoming PM but risk weakening their position in Northern Ireland, or oppose it and risk handing two Irish republicans the keys to Number 10 and 11. The Tories think a new map presented in January should be enough to convince the DUP to get onside. As one minister puts it: “The fate of the next Prime Minister relies on Nigel Dodds’ vanity…”




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Quote of the Day

Stephen Bush writing in the New Statesman‘s morning briefing…

“The terrifying truth is that the Opposition is too divided – within the parliamentary party, within the trades unions, within the Shadow Cabinet and even within the leader’s office – to be anything other than a veto player as far as Brexit goes, and the party’s whole gambit is really about trying to make that weakness look like a strength. Keir Starmer saying that Labour is “increasingly likely” to vote down the deal is simply a reflection of the fact that the one thing the Labour party will be able to agree on as far as Brexit goes is that Theresa May’s deal is no good.”

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