Sunday, 20 November 2016

My alternative constituencies: Dorset & Wiltshire

Like Devon & Cornwall, the counties of Dorset and Wiltshire together end up losing one seat under the 2018 review, although here it causes less consternation.

I almost unanimously agree with the Boundary Commission's initial proposals for this area, except for in Bournemouth. They are correct to pair Christchurch with Bournemouth (as it was earlier; Bournemouth East & Christchurch existed as a constituency from 1950 to 1974) but British coastal towns/cities should never be split north/south in constituency terms (with the exception of Portsmouth which is technically on an island). This is because the links in coastal towns/cities almost always emanate from the centre, which means generally east to west. Therefore, the east/west split should be kept in Bournemouth, and it should contain no part of Poole (as the BCE has wisely recommended).

My alternative constituencies for Dorset and Wiltshire within South West England are therefore:

Mid Dorset & North Poole is abolished.
Bournemouth East & Christchurch succeeds Christchurch in practice and restores the 1950-74 constituency of the same name.
Bournemouth West technically succeeds the current Bournemouth East, but half of the old Bournemouth West, which supposedly disappears, still forms approx. 49% of this new Bournemouth West's electorate.
Blandford & Wimborne succeeds North Dorset in practice.
Warminster & Shaftesbury succeeds South West Wiltshire. Warminster is larger than Westbury hence why a newer name has been chosen.
Trowbridge succeeds Chippenham, despite not actually containing the town of Chippenham and in reality resembling the old constituency of Westbury (minus the towns of Westbury and Warminster).
Chippenham succeeds North Wiltshire in this incarnation and restores the old version of Chippenham which existed from 1918-83 as Chippenham, and from 1983-2010 as North Wiltshire (they are one and the same).
West Dorset, Swindon North, and Swindon South are adjusted for internal ward boundary changes but are essentially unchanged from their 2010 composition.
Broadstone, Ferndown & Kinson is a new seat comprising the northern suburbs of the coastal Bournemouth-Poole conurbation.

Next in this series: Gloucestershire, Somerset, and the city of Bristol.

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