Clause 9 — Number and distribution of seats

Part of Police Terms and Conditions of Service (Redundancy) – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 20th October 2010.

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Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Conservative, Cities of London and Westminster 5:30 pm, 20th October 2010

I agree with what the shadow Minister is trying to achieve, and, if the Committee divides on the amendment, I shall vote against the reduction. However, for two reasons, I am not sure that he is making a terribly good case.

We have discussed what happened in Scotland in 2005. There was not a great Unionist upsurge there when there was a 20% reduction in the number of seats specifically in Scotland and in no other part of the United Kingdom. Does the hon. Gentleman not recognise that his is not a terribly strong argument?

The Welsh position has been maintained since we drew up the constituencies. There were 38 protected constituencies there until 1983, and 40 thereafter. The position of Wales has been protected, and it is massively over-represented. That is the reason for the move to equalise the size of electorates, which I also fully support.