Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:14 am on 18th November 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne Shadow Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office) 11:14 am, 18th November 2016

The right hon. Gentleman makes an important point, because we are talking about the costs of government here, not just those of Parliament. The two cannot be disentangled.

Moving on to the review itself, its unfairness and unequal nature are compounded by the fact that many individual voters have been omitted from the calculations used by the boundary commissions. I wonder how the Government can defend their position on equalising the number of voters in each constituency, which each and every Member would support, while using information based on an electoral register with close to two million voters not counted. As Government Members will be aware, the spike of newly registered voters enthused by June’s referendum and the increased sign up from May’s local election mean that around 4% of the electoral register has not been counted in the review. That serious omission risks producing a distorted picture of our nation and alienating hundreds upon thousands of younger first-time voters under-30. How dare we tell the 700,000 young people who signed up in a few short months in the run-up to the referendum that we want them to engage, but that their voice is irrelevant in deciding the political map of our communities? Put plainly, the omission of close to 2 million voters has completely distorted the boundary review process, so the aim of equalising our constituency boundaries will not be possible.