Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:07 pm on 6th September 2010.

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Photo of Nick Clegg Nick Clegg The Deputy Prime Minister , Lord President of the Council (Privy Council Office), Leader of the Liberal Democrats 4:07 pm, 6th September 2010

She is aware of that, and I will remind her today.

Finally, the legislation underpinning reviews means that the number of MPs has crept up. We do not have a 650-seat House by design; it is simply a result of the flawed rules, which have a ratchet effect on the number of MPs. As a result, this House of Commons is now the largest directly elected Chamber in the European Union.

The Bill seeks to address each of those problems. New rules will demand that every constituency is within 5% of either side of a single size. Using the electoral register from last December, we estimate that this will be around 76,000 voters, as I have said. Subject to that strict requirement, the independent boundary commissions will then be able to continue to take into account the same factors as now: local geography, local authority boundaries and local ties. To guard against future misalignment of voter numbers in constituencies, boundary reviews will take place on a five-yearly basis.