Two West Midlands parliamentary seats to go in boundary shake-up

The West Midlands is set to lose two parliamentary seats under plans to shake-up the UK's electoral map.

The West Midlands is set to lose two MPs under plans to make constituency sizes more equal
The West Midlands is set to lose two MPs under plans to make constituency sizes more equal

As part of a move to make voter populations in each constituency more equal, the number of MPs in the region will fall from 59 to 57, based on new data provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Staffordshire is expected to lose one seat – potentially Stone – while a Black Country seat could be combined with a Birmingham constituency.

The plans will also see the majority of constituencies in the region either gain or lose council wards, while some will be renamed.

Four national boundary reviews are due to be completed by July 2023, with the ONS figures used to divide 47.5 million voters into 650 constituencies of between 69,724 and 77,062 people in size.

Dudley South MP Mike Wood said: "There is a basic principle about democracy that all of our parliamentary constituencies should be roughly the same size so MPs represent the same number of voters.

"Obviously that is not the case at the moment and it hasn't been for a long time. Seats like Dudley South are based on populations from the early 1990s, they are a generation out of date.

"We need this independent review to make sure constituencies are of equal sizes, but without breaking up natural communities."

Under the plans, London is scheduled to gain two MPs, increasing its total to 75, while the North West and North East – two areas where Boris Johnson saw gains at Labour's expense at the 2019 election – will both see their representation reduced by two.

The South East and South West will both have new seats created.

Seven more seats, which include the Isle of Wight being divided into two constituencies, will be established in the South East, taking it to 89, while the South West will go from 55 to 58.

The eastern area of the country, including East Anglia, will gain three seats. The East Midlands will gain one.

There will be no change in Yorkshire and the Humber, which will stick with 54.

Overall, England is set to gain 10 MPs, Wales will lose eight seats and Scotland is on course to be reduced by two, while Northern Ireland will continue to have 18 MPs in the Commons.

Tim Bowden, secretary to the Boundary Commission for England, said the plans marked the start of work to review the constituency boundaries in England.

"Parliament has set strict rules on greater equality of electorate size between the new constituencies," he said.

"These rules and the increase in total number of constituencies in England mean that there is likely to be a large degree of change across the country."

Mr Bowden said a first draft of proposals will be published in the summer, and a public consultation will follow to ensure that the plans "take account of local ties and best reflect the geography on the ground".

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