Deputy Prime Minister
Chris Ruane (Vale of Clwyd, Labour)
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister for what reason his proposed changes to the size of parliamentary constituencies are based on the number of registered voters rather than the number of potential registered voters.
Mark Harper (Parliamentary Secretary (Political and Constitutional Reform), Cabinet Office; Forest of Dean, Conservative)
The electoral register has been the basis for parliamentary boundary reviews since the creation of the independent Boundary Commissions. Equally-weighted votes is a fundamental democratic principle. For this to be the case, there must be broad equality in the number of registered electors in each constituency. Furthermore, basing boundary reviews on population figures would mean using estimates derived from census data. The Government does not believe that this would provide a better basis for a boundary review than using the annually updated electoral register.