It is likely that the May 2020 general election will be for smaller House of Commons, with just 600 MPs, and - as far as I am aware - the Government's intention is for these to be the ones proposed in 2013.
If these are used, then what is the impact on the Liberal Democrats?
Fortunately, Electoral Calculus has a set of calculated ward-by-ward breakdowns of general election votes. General election results are not announced at a ward level, but using local election results allows one to make a reasonable calculated breakdown at ward level.
From these we can then build up notional results - i.e. what the result would have been if an election had been held on a different set of boundaries. It is important to emphasise that a notional result looks back to a previous election, and is not a prediction of a future election. People have a habit of ignoring this, so you end up with criticism along the lines of "Clearly he has not taken into account that Trumptonshire West changed hands at that by-election. PMSL" or "He puts the Elvis Loves Pets party winning Camberwick Green & East Trumptonshire - he does know that their support has fallen in the last opinion poll, does he?"
Carshalton & Wallington is held by Tom Brake, the Shadow Foreign & Commonwealth Secretary and Shadow Leader of the House of Commons. As the breakdown table for Greater London from the Boundary Commission for England shows, 88.48% of the seat would join with 23.90% of Croydon South to form Carshalton & Coulsdon, while the remaining 11.52% joins with the remaining 76.10% of Croydon South and 13.62% of Croydon Central to form an altered Croydon South.
The more detailed report gives the ward breakdown, and using this and the Electoral Calculus data, we can work out notional results:
Carshalton & Coulsdon
- Conservative - 21,062 (37.00%)
- Liberal Democrat - 16,275 (28.59%)
- Labour - 9,569 (16.81%)
- UK Independence Party - 7,757 (13.63%)
- Green - 2,016 (3.54%)
- Others - 250 (0.44%)
- Conservative - 32,661 (52.43%)
- Labour - 17,059 (27.39%)
- UK Independence Party - 5,879 (9.44%)
- Liberal Democrat - 4,344 (6.97%)
- Green - 2,087 (3.35%)
- Others - 261 (0.42%)
Carshalton & Wallington loses one Borough of Sutton ward (Beddington South) to the revised Croydon South, while in return picking up two Borough of Croydon wards (Coulsdon East and Coulsdon West) from that constituency - hence the change in name. The Coulsdon wards are ones where the Conservatives (along with second-placed Labour) are well ahead of the Liberal Democrats and it is their arrival that flips Brake's seat to the Conservatives.
Ceredigion is held by Mark Williams, and is the Liberal Democrats' sole Welsh seat. The Boundary Commission for Wales proposed adding 24.25% of Preseli Pembrokeshire and 7.95% of Carmarthen East & Dinefwr to form Ceredigion & North Pembrokeshire, which - despite its name - would include a couple of County of Carmarthenshire wards (Cenarth and Llangeler), which form the western tip of that local authority area. This gives the following notional result:
Ceredigion & North Pembrokeshire
- Liberal Democrat - 14,246 (27.22%)
- Plaid Cymru - 13,548 (25.89%)
- Conservative - 9,019 (17.23%)
- Labour - 6,665 (12.74%)
- UK Independence Party - 5,362 (10.25%)
- Green - 2,589 (4.95%)
- Others - 907 (1.73%)
So, notionally a Liberal Democrat seat, but one very vulnerable to an advance by Plaid Cymru.
Leeds North West is held by Greg Mulholland. The Boundary Commission for England's breakdown table for Yorkshire & Humberside shows 51.26% of this seat combining with 25.59% of Leeds North East, 25.08% of Pudsey and 13.37% of Shipley to form a new seat, Otley, while the remaining 48.74% joins with 18.48% of Leeds Central (held by Shadow Foreign & Commonwealth Secretary Hilary Benn), 25.06% of Leeds North East and 23.47% of Leeds West (held by Shadow Work & Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves) to form Leeds North. As with Greater London, the Boundary Commission for England has a listing of wards.
As before, we can calculate notional results:
- Labour - 19,219 (45.47%)
- Liberal Democrat - 8,014 (18.96%)
- Conservative - 7,532 (17.82%)
- Green - 3,934 (9.31%)
- UK Independence Party - 3,129 (7.40%)
- Others - 444 (1.05%)
- Conservative - 24,735 (41.12%)
- Labour - 17,508 (29.10%)
- Liberal Democrat - 10,891 (18.10%)
- UK Indpendence Party - 4,707 (7.82%)
- Green - 2,107 (3.50%)
- Others - 211 (0.35%)
Neither of these represent a good choice for Mulholland - in addition, he could face sitting MPs in either. Otley would be the logical seat for Stuart Andrew, Conservative MP for Pudsey, and Leeds North represents the better choice for Reeves to contest as it leaves the slightly-less-safe-for-Labour Leeds West, Pudsey & Tong free for Judith Cummins, current Labour MP for Bradford South, who sees her current seat hacked apart.
Remaining in the Yorkshire & Humberside region, we come to Sheffield Hallam, held by the former Lord President of the Council, Nick Clegg. 80.76% of his seat joins with 34.09% of Penistone & Stocksbridge to form Sheffield Hallam & Penistone, while the remaining 19.24% joins 80.25% of Sheffield Heeley and 18.58% of Sheffield Central to form a revised Sheffield Heeley.
Using the ward listing as before, we can calculate notional results:
Sheffield Hallam & Penistone
- Labour - 22,755 (38.08%)
- Liberal Democrat - 17,634 (29.51%)
- Conservative - 9,491 (15.88%)
- UK Independence Party - 7,717 (12.92%)
- Green - 1,562 (2.61%)
- Others - 591 (0.99%)
- Labour - 22,142 (42.78%)
- Liberal Democrat - 10,788 (20.84%)
- Conservative - 8,748 (16.90%)
- UK Independence Party - 6,125 (11.83%)
- Green - 3,530 (6.82%)
- Others - 423 (0.82%)
Like Mulholland and Brake, Clegg has no notional Liberal Democrat seat to go for. His strongest ward (Dore & Totley) is transferred to Sheffield Heeley, where in May, the interesting battle was that between the Conservatives and UK Independence Party for second place (UKIP came second, but their strongest ward - Richmond - moves to a redrawn Sheffield South East). In return, picking up the City of Sheffield ward of Stocksbridge & Upper Don and the Borough of Barnsley ward of Penistone West - both from Penistone & Stocksbridge - helps Labour and (to a lesser extent) the Conservatives.
Another problem for Clegg will be that South Yorkshire is a strongly Labour area, and with a reduction in seats, there will be a bit of musical chairs among Labour MPs. It seems logical that Angela Smith, the long-serving MP for Penistone & Stocksbridge, would stand in Sheffield Hallam & Penistone, freeing up Sheffield North & Dodworth for Harry Harpham, Labour MP for Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough.
Next is Norfolk North, held by Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb. The Boundary Commission for England's breakdown table for Eastern England shows that 87.12% of his current seat joins with 18.33% of Broadland to form a revised Norfolk North, while the remaining 12.88% joins with all of Great Yarmouth to form Norfolk Coastal
. The notional results are:
- Conservative - 21,323 (41.42%)
- Labour - 13,603 (26.43%)
- UK Independence Party - 11,499 (22.34%)
- Liberal Democrat - 3,690 (7.17%)
- Green - 1,195 (2.32%)
- Others - 167 (0.32%)
- Conservative - 19,967 (35.78%)
- Liberal Democrat - 16,940 (30.36%)
- UK Independence Party - 8,472 (15.18%)
- Labour - 7,487 (13.42%)
- Green - 2,935 (5.26%)
From the detailed ward listing we see that the District of North Norfolk wards that are transferred to Norfolk Coastal are Stalham & Sutton; Waterside and Waxham - which are Liberal Democrat-leaning, where they add nothing to the historic battle between the Conservatives and Labour in that seat, while the District of North Norfolk wards that are transferred from Broadland (Astley; Lancaster North; Lancaster South; The Raynhams; Walsingham and Wensum) are strongly Conservative.
Next is quite simple - Orkney & Shetland, held by Shadow Home Secretary (and former Scottish Secretary) Alistair Carmichael. This is a preserved constituency under the Parliamentary Voting System & Constituencies Act 2011, so remains unchanged.
Next we have Southport, held by Shadow Education Secretary John Pugh. The Boundary Commission for England's breakdown table for North West England shows this constituency taking on 14.41% of Sefton Central (which, as the detailed ward listing shows, is simply the addition of the Borough of Sefton ward of Harington).
The notional result is:
- Conservative - 16,063 (30.78%)
- Liberal Democrat - 13,652 (26.16%)
- Labour - 11,764 (22.54%)
- UK Independence Party - 8.272 (15.85%)
- Green - 1,451 (2.78%)
- Other - 992 (1.90%)
Finally, also in North West England, we have Westmorland & Lonsdale, held by Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron. The breakdown table shows that 12.99% of Penrith & the Border and 0.30% of Barrow & Furness is added to this constituency.
Currently the District of South Lakeland ward of Coniston & Crake Valley is split between Westmorland & Lonsdale and Barrow & Furness - the proposed boundary changes bring it all under Westmorland & Lonsdale. The District of Eden wards of Appleby (Appleby); Appleby (Bongate); Brough; Kirkby Stephen; Orton with Tebay; Ravenstonedale and Warcop are transferred from Penrith & the Border.
The notional result is:
Westmorland & Lonsdale
- Liberal Democrat - 25,828 (47.62%)
- Conservative - 19,147 (35.30%)
- UK Independence Party - 3,922 (7.23%)
- Labour - 3,314 (6.11%)
- Green - 2,027 (3.74%)
Hence, the Liberal Democrat seats are:
|Westmorland & Lonsdale||12.32%||Conservative|
|Orkney & Shetland||3.59%||Scottish National Party|
|Ceredigion & North Pembrokeshire||1.33%||Plaid Cymru|