Committee (11th Day)

Part of Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill – in the House of Lords at 4:15 pm on 19th January 2011.

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Photo of Lord Wallace of Tankerness Lord Wallace of Tankerness Lords Spokesperson (Attorney General's Office), Lords Spokesperson (Wales Office), The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Scotland Office) 4:15 pm, 19th January 2011

I am certain that I have already given that explanation, but I am more than happy to repeat it. The judgment was that in order to get the Boundary Commission reports by 1 October 2013, 1 December 2010 was the date that was necessary to give the Boundary Commissions their starting point: the raw figures from which they must work. October 2013 was chosen because it is approximately 18 months before what would be the general election in May 2015. I cannot remember which noble Lord it was-it might even have been the noble Lord, Lord Howarth-but someone certainly made comments in debates earlier about the importance for local parties selecting candidates to adjust to new boundaries. Eighteen months was thought to be sufficient time to allow that to happen. That is the judgment that has been made. It will be pretty challenging. I do not think anyone has denied that. Indeed, noble Lords opposite have commented that it will be a very challenging task for the Boundary Commissions to have their respective reports published by October 2013, but that is why we have chosen that date.