CCHQ Scramble to Save Suella’s Seat

Guido hears the battle to save Suella Braverman ahead of the general election is causing headaches at CCHQ. As first reported in the Mail on Sunday, boundary changes mean Braverman’s Fareham constituency is set to become Fareham and Waterlooville, with Flick Drummond’s Meon Valley seat abolished entirely. A new seat, Hamble Valley, is also up for grabs. Drummond and Braverman are now heading for a selection fight over Fareham and Waterlooville, and it’s not expected to be an easy fight for the Home Secretary. The Battle of Waterlooville begins…

Guido understands CCHQ paused the selection process six weeks ago. It was supposed to be wrapped up this month – yet no new date has been set yet. A CCHQ source insisted “it’s a more complicated boundary change than most”, and not to “read too much into it”. “Complicated” is one way of putting it…

In the meantime, Suella has selected the new Hamble Valley seat as her second preference, if Drummond ends up winning in Fareham and Waterlooville. Guido, however, hears she’s not a shoo-in there either. Could Braverman really end up without a safe seat ahead of the general election? 

mdi-timer 18 January 2023 @ 13:44 18 Jan 2023 @ 13:44 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Tory Seat Battles: Workington Versus Wokeington

After CCHQ forced all Tory MPs to declare whether they intend to stand at the next election, the question now turns to; firstly whether their local association want them and secondly dealing with the 2023 boundary review. Guido’s already covered the former, with the ongoing row up in Shrewsbury about Daniel Kawczynski’s reselection; now for the latter – boundary review rows.

Up in the top corner of England, Cumbria is set to be butchered by the review. The seat tally for the county is being lowered from six to five, involving the creation of a new Penrith and Solway constituency. The move is pitting Penrith and the Border MP Neil Hudson against Workington MP Mark Jenkinson. In many ways a metaphor for the battle over the soul of the Tory party…

Mark Jenkinson is firmly red wall. The 2019 election was constantly described as a fight for ‘Workington Man’, a northern male over the age of 45 without a university degree, who enjoys rugby league, and who had previously supported Labour but voted for Brexit in the 2016 referendum. Jenkinson won these voters over, and firmly backed Boris in No. 10 including his attempted comeback after Liz Truss’s resignation.

Neil Hudson on the other hand is not particularly favoured by many of his colleagues. In 2021 the wet – who sources suggest has occasionally mentioned he was once a vet – was called a ‘Judas’ by colleagues after pocketing hundreds for a fake news op-ed that led to Tory MPs being inundated with hate mail from animal welfare groups. In 2022 he tried standing for chairman of the DEFRA Select Committee, and was endorsed by hard-left Labour MPs who praised him for working “against his Conservative colleagues”. He called for Boris to resign last summer…

Hudson tells his local paper that he firmly believes he is the “right choice” to inherit the new seat, despite the fact two-thirds of Mark Jenkinson’s Workington seat is going into the new Penrith and Solway constituency – versus just 37% of Neil Hudson’s current Penrith and the Border seat. This should be a fun one to watch…

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Commission Publishes Final Revision of Boundary Review

The Boundary Commission has published its finalised revision of proposals for equalising constituency sizes and it makes interesting reading for a number of MPs. The review is designed to equalise constituency sizes, which had left England underrepresented, giving all seats, excluding protected areas, an electorate of between 69,700 and 77,000. It’s left a number of MPs facing challenges…

Gavin Williamson’s South Staffordshire is set to merge with South Dudley, leaving him with a scrap for a place. Dominic Raab’s job holding Esher and Walton has been made the more challenging with the addition of less favourable areas. While Ben Wallace’s constituency is also being hived off. Robert Buckland’s Swindon South has also become less comfortable. In other news Sir Keir, Rishi and Boris come off relatively unscathed. Though Tories overall shouldn’t be too displeased, the number of seats in England has gone from 533 to 543, which will likely benefit them.

Where England gains Scotland and Wales have lost out. Scotland will have two less seats, whilst Wales faces cuts of 8. Naturally this has caused concern amongst the home nations. Dave Doogan, SNP MP for Angus, was clearly feeling the heat and told The National the proposals were “a disgrace”. Nothing to do with the fact he will soon be seatless…

A consultation will now open until December 5th, and final proposals will be submitted by July 2023. Co-conspirators can find out what proposals might mean for them here.

Hat-tip: State of the Nation for the map

 

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Boundary Commission Publishing New Proposals on November 8

The Boundary Commission has just informed English Members of Parliament they will be publishing their revised proposals for new constituency boundaries on Tuesday, November 8th , with MPs learning their fate a day in advance on the 7th.

“Please note that, although this is the Commission’s current intention, it reserves the right to revise that timetable if necessary.”

The consultation will then run for an extra month until December 5th, giving stakeholders an opportunity to object to any proposals. MPs being squeezed out will object.

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Scottish MPs Learn Boundary Review Fates

Scottish MPs are preoccupied this morning after learning the fate of their jobs, thanks to the Scottish boundary review publication. The initial draft of Scotland’s new boundaries, due to be implemented in 2023, confirms a cut of two seats overall:

  • The two seats that are due to be scrapped come from Glasgow and the North East.
  • All constituencies will be redrawn bar nine: Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock, Central Ayrshire, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh South West, Kilmarnock and Loudoun, Midlothian, North Ayrshire and Arran, Stirling, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine. A further two constituencies are preserved in legislation: Na h-Eileanan an Iar, and Orkney and Shetland.
  • Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross is in for a bumpy ride as his Moray constituency gets split in two, absorbed by a new Gordon and Moray South seat.
  • The new proposed ‘Highland North’ seat is 12,781 square kilometers – larger than both Qatar and Yorkshire.
  • The island seats of Na h-Eileanan an Iar, and Orkney and Shetland are protected by law and will remain unchanged.

Unsurprisingly, the SNP aren’t happy. Kirsten Oswald claimed the boundary changes will “further reduce Scotland’s representation at Westminster”. In far more frank terms, Pete Wishart called it a “dog’s breakfast”…

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Wales Boundary Review Announces Draft Boundaries, Eight Constituencies Axed

After English MPs learnt their boundary review fate back in June, today it’s been the turn of Welsh MPs. We already knew the proposals would be drastic after they’d previously announced the country would be facing the largest constituency cut of eight seats. While it’ll be up to more seasoned psephologists to decode which party will lose out most, it’s clear Tory MPs like Stephen Crabb, Simon Baynes, Rob Roberts and Jamie Wallis face big changes. Crabb especially, given his Preseli Pembrokeshire gets completely split in two.

Just Scotland and Northern Ireland left.

UPDATE: For those wondering the names of the new constituencies:

Read More

mdi-timer 7 September 2021 @ 13:03 7 Sep 2021 @ 13:03 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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