**Updated Tuesday 4th July 2023**
The shape of parliamentary constituencies for the next general election will be significantly different to the constituencies for the current parliament.
Legislation enacted in 2020 intended to equalise the size of constituencies in the UK has resulted in a significant shake-up of electoral boundaries.
The boundary commissions for the four countries of the UK have published their final recommendations for redrawing the electoral map, and have submitted them to parliament where they will be approved without a vote.
This is a guide to the process that has taken place and a summary of the key outcomes.
The review process has taken more than two years and has gone through several stages before the commissions settled on their final recommendations. This is a timeline of the process that has taken place:
Jan 2021 – review began
Oct 2021 – initial proposals published
Nov 2022 – revised proposals published
June 28th 2023 – final recommendations published
What next? The government has four months to submit an Order to the Privy Council that gives effect to the recommendations. The government cannot make any changes to the proposals. They will then take effect at the next general election.
UK electoral quota
Under the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986, and the modifications of the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 2020, every constituency must have an electorate that is within 5% of the UK electoral quota.
For 2023 the quota is 73,393, which means no constituency can have fewer than 69,724 electors and no more than 77,062.
The modifications of the 2020 Act are significant. The 2019 general election was fought using constituency data from as far back 2000. This means existing English parliamentary constituencies currently range between 53,210 and 109,246 electors.
Redrawing these boundaries to equalise the number of electors therefore marks the most significant shake-up in the UK’s electoral geography in living memory.
Despite the changes to the electoral quota, the overall number of constituencies within the UK is mandated to remain at 650. This means England, as the most populous area of the UK, will see an increase in the number of constituencies, while Scotland and Wales will see decreases.
England – increase from 533 to 543
Scotland – decrease from 59 to 57
Wales – decrease from 40 to 32
Northern Ireland – remains at 18
There are five protected constituencies that are exempt from the electoral quota. There are two in England (both in the Isle of Wight), one in Wales (Ynys Mon), and two in Scotland (Na h-Eileanan an Iar, and Orkney & Shetland).
Proposals by country
Parliamentary constituencies – England
Only 55 constituencies across England out of 533 remain completely unchanged under the proposals (10% of the total, and down from 57 after November’s proposals). The rest will either:
- Have new boundaries while retaining their current name
- Change their name but not their boundaries
- Or undergo both a name and boundary change.
Of the revised proposals put forward by the commission in November, 16% are unchanged in the final proposals laid before parliament on June 28th.
Across the nine English regions, 5 will see an increase in their constituency numbers, while 3 will see a decrease. The redrawing of boundaries means some MPs will see their seats scrapped, especially in regions where a decrease in the number of seats was required, and will need to find a new seat to stand in if they want to remain as an MP after the next general election.
Here is a region-by-region summary of the key changes:
The East Midlands will see an increase of 1 seat to 47.
Key changes include:
- Hinckley and Bosworth – the former Bosworth constituency has been redrawn to incorporate the town of Hinckley.
- Melton and Syston – this is a new constituency that comprises part of the former Charnwood constituency, and the former Rutland and Melton constituency. The remainder of Rutland and Melton has moved to Rutland and Stamford.
- Mid Leicestershire – this new constituency largely comprises the former Charnwood constituency
The Eastern region will see an increase of 3 constituencies, taking its total up to 61.
Here are the key changes:
- Broadland and Fakenham replaces Broadland.
- Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket replaces Bury St Edmunds.
- Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard is a new constituency that will replace the former South West Bedfordshire constituency.
- Ely and East Cambridgeshire is a new constituency that will replace South East Cambridgeshire
- Harpenden and Berkhamsted is a new constituency that replaces Hitchin and Harpenden. It takes parts of the South West Hertfordshire constituency, which itself has taken part of Watford.
- Lowestoft is a new constituency replacing the former Waveney constituency
- North West Essex replaces the former Saffron Walden constituency, renamed to better reflect its new boundaries.
- Rochford and Southend East has been renamed Southend East and Rochford
- St Neots and Mid Cambridgeshire is a new constituency that draws on a number of existing constituencies in Cambridgeshire, including North East Cambridgeshire.
London will see an increase of 2 constituencies, taking its total to 75. These are the key changes:
- Clapham and Brixton Hill – a new constituency, originally proposed to be called Lambeth Central
- Peckham – replaces the previous Camberwell and Peckham constituency
- Queen’s Park and Maida Vale – new constituency replacing Westminster North
- Southgate and Wood Green – replaces the Enfield Southgate constituency
- Stratford and Bow – new constituency within Newham and Tower Hamlets
- Kingston and Surbiton – revised changes make it easier for Ed Davey to hang onto his seat.
- Holborn and St Pancras – The boundaries of Sir Keir Starmer’s seat have been redrawn but the seat remains.
The North East region will see a decrease of two constituencies, taking it down to 27.
- North Tyneside – this constituency will be scrapped so Labour’s Mary Glindon needs to find a new seat.
- North West Durham – this is likewise being scrapped so Conservatives’ Richard Holden will need to find a new seat
- A new constituency of Cramlington and Killingworth has been created
- A new Newton Aycliffe and Spennymoor seat has been created replacing the Sedgefield seat (most famously the seat of former prime minister Tony Blair)
- A new seat of North Northumberland has been created, replacing part of the former Berwick-Upon-Tweed seat
The North West will see a decrease of two constituencies from 2 to 73. The key changes in the region are:
- Wyre and Preston North – the constituency of defence secretary Ben Wallace will disappear and be absorbed into three neighbouring constituencies.
- Wirral South – this seat is also set to be scrapped, leaving Alison McGovern and Mick Whitley to contest Birkenhead.
- Manchester Rusholme – this is a new seat within Manchester taking parts of Manchester Central and Manchester Gorton.
- Mid Cheshire – this is a new seat incorporating parts of Eddibsbury, Weaver Vale and Congleton.
- Runcorn and Helsby – this is a new constituency comprising parts of the former Weaver Vale and Halton seats
- Chester South and Eddisbury – incorporates part of the former Eddisbury constituency
Due to large population growth, the south east will see its representation in parliament increase by 7 to 91. These are the key changes:
- Fareham – this seat is disappearing leaving Suella Braverman to find a new seat. She has been selected for the new seat of Fareham and Waterlooville.
- Meon Valley – this seat is being scrapped leaving Flick Drummond to find a new seat. He lost out on selection for the new Fareham and Waterlooville seat.
- Didcot and Wantage – this new constituency replaces the standalone Wantage constituency.
- Dorking and Horley – this constituency has largely usurped the previous Mole Valley constituency
- Earley and Woodley – this is a new constituency drawing largely on Wokingham and Reading East constituencies
- East Grinstead and Uckfield – this is a new constituency replacing Wealden
- East Thanet – replaced parts of the old North and South Thanet constituencies
- Herne Bay and Sandwich – originally due to be called West Thanet, this replaces parts of the old North and South Thanet constituencies
- Farnham and Bordon – this is a new constituency spanning West Surrey and Hampshire
- Godalming and Ash – this is a new constituency created from parts of the neighbouring constituencies of Guildford and Surrey Heath among others.
- Hamble Valley – this constituency, originally to be named Hedge End, incorporates some of the existing Eastleigh and Fareham constituencies, which needed to be reduced in size.
- Isle of Wight East, and Isle of Wight West – the Isle of Wight constituency has been split in two, but these are protected constituencies that don’t need to follow the UKEQ.
- Mid Buckinghamshire – this constituency is to be created because the number of constituencies in Buckinghamshire is rising from 7 to 8. Originally to be called Princes Risborough, it includes large parts of the Aylesbury constituency, which itself has been reconfigured.
- Sussex Weald – originally to be called Hailsham and Crowborough, this constituency has largely usurped the former constituency of Wealden.
- Weald of Kent – this is a new constituency in Kent with no obvious forerunner, taking in areas of Ashford, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells.
The South West will see an increase of 3 constituencies to 58. These are the key changes:
- Bristol North East – Bristol has been allocated an additional constituency, up from 4 to 5. This new constituency encompasses parts of the former Bristol West constituency, while extending into South Gloucestershire.
- Bristol Central – This largely comprises the former Bristol West constituency, which was well above the permitted electoral quota with more than 100,000 voters.
- East Wiltshire – this new constituency comprises much of the former Devizes constituency with the exception of Devizes itself.
- Devizes has been included in a new Melksham and Devizes constituency.
- Exmouth and Exeter East – this constituency has been created to help reduce the size of the Exeter constituency and bring it within the electoral quota.
- Frome and East Somerset – Somerset’s constituencies required major change due to large electorates, so the former Somerton and Frome constituency is being split and replaced by this new constituency.
- The other half will move to the new Glastonbury and Somerton constituency, which incorporates the town of Somerton.
- Honiton and Sidmouth – this new constituency removes Honiton from the former Tiverton and Honiton constituency and combines it with Sidmouth instead.
- North Cotswolds – The former constituency of the Cotswolds has been renamed to enable the creation of a South Cotswolds constituency that encompasses Cirencester and North Wiltshire.
- South Devon – this is largely the former Totnes constituency, but carrying a new name.
The West Midlands will see its representation in parliament decrease by 2 to 57 seats. These are the key changes:
- Droitwich and Evesham – this new constituency comprises much of the former Mid Worcestershire constituency.
- Kingswinford and South Staffordshire – this is a new constituency that usurps the former chief whip, Gavin Williamson’s constituency of South Staffordshire, and sees it merged with Dudley South.
- The rest of Dudley South will be merged with Dudley North to create a new Dudley constituency.
- South Shropshire – this is a new constituency that usurps the former Ludlow constituency, while also gaining areas from Shrewsbury, which is losing its “and Atcham” tag.
- Tipton and Wednesbury – this new constituency contains much of the former West Bromwich East constituency, along with some of the Wolverhampton South East constituency.
- Walsall and Bloxwich – this is a new constituency created from the merger of Walsall North and Walsall South.
Yorkshire and Humber
Yorkshire and Humber sees no overall changes in its representation in the UK parliament, maintaining its seat numbers at 54.
- Barnsley North and Barnsley South – constituencies in Barnsley have been realigned with Barnsley North and Barnsley South replacing Barnsley Central and East.
- Bridlington and the Wolds – this new constituency has usurped the previous East Yorkshire constituency.
- Doncaster East and the Isle of Axholme – this new constituency crosses the boundaries of the city of Doncaster and the North Lincolnshire unitary authority.
- Goole and Pocklington – this partially replaces the former Brigg and Google constituency, which has been renamed Brigg and Immingham.
- Leeds Central and Headingley – this comprises part of the former Leeds North West and Leeds West constituencies, along with the central parts of the former Leeds Central constituency.
- Leeds South – this contains large parts of the former Leeds Central constituency, but without the central sections, so renaming the constituency was deemed the appropriate course of action.
- Leeds South West and Morley; Leeds West and Pudsey – these two new constituencies draw upon the three former constituencies of Leeds West, Morley and Outwood, and Pudsey. They were originally due to be called Morley and Pudsey respectively, but ‘Leeds’ was added to the names to acknowledge areas identifying with the city more than the towns. The move forces Leeds West MP Labour shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves to find a new seat, along with Conservative Andrea Jenkyns, who is currently the MP for Morley and Outwood.
- Ossett and Denby Dale – this is a new constituency taking part of the Wakefield and Hemsworth constituencies.
- Pontefract, Castleford and Knottingley – this has been created out of the former Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford constituency, with Normanton moving out and becoming Normanton and Hemsworth. Originally to be called Pontefract and Castleford, Knottingley was added to the name following representations by the public.
- Rawmarsh and Conisbrough – this new constituency combines wards in Doncaster and Rotherham.
- Richmond and Northallerton – the boundaries of Rishi Sunak’s Richmond (Yorks) seat have been changed, losing Bedale and Tanfield to Thirsk and Malton.
- Spen Valley – this new constituency has lost the town of Batley from the former Batley and Spen constituency, while gaining some voters from Huddersfield. Batley now forms part of the Dewsbury and Batley constituency.
- Wetherby and Easingwold – this new constituency draws upon voters from the former Selby and Ainsty, and Elmet and Rothwell constituencies, as well as Thirsk and Malton.
For more information on the plans visit the Boundary Commission for England website.
Parliamentary constituencies – Wales
The Boundary Commission in Wales published its proposal for boundary changes in Wales on 19 October 2022, describing it as “the most significant change to Wales’s constituencies in a century.” The number of constituencies in Wales is reducing from 40 to 32.
Only one existing constituency, Vale of Glamorgan, was within the statutory UKEQ range for 2023; but even that has been changed under the new proposals to help surrounding areas meet the statutory requirements.
Under the plans
- 15 existing constituency names will remain the same
- Electoral wards currently split across more than one constituency will be allocated in their entirety to one constituency
- 4 constituencies will be between 2,000km squared and 3,000km squared (Caerfyrddin, Ceredigion Preseli, Dwyfor Meirionnydd and Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr)
- One will be over 3,000km squared (Brecon, Radnor and Cwm-tawe)
For more detail on the plans visit the Boundary Commission for Wales website.
Parliamentary constituencies – Scotland
The Boundary Commission in Scotland published its final set of proposals on 8 November 2023.
Under the plans:
- 15 constituencies will see a change of boundary
- 20 will see a change of boundary and name
- 3 will undergo a name change (Paisley and Renfrewshire North, Paisley and Renfrewshire South, Inverclyde and Renfrewshire West)
- 17 will see their boundaries unchanged
The largest constituency in Scotland by area is Inverness-shire and West Ross at 11,066 square kilometres, which dwarfs Scotland’s smallest constituency of Glasgow West at just 19 square kilometres.
For more information, visit the Boundary Commision for Scotland website.
Parliamentary constituencies – Northern Ireland
The Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland was the last of the four to publish its final proposals in mid November 2022.
The overall number of constituencies remains at 18, but 11 of those constituencies have required boundary changes to meet the UKEQ.
In addition the Commission took the opportunity to realign constituencies and electoral wards. 56 wards currently straddle two or more constituencies, and under the revised proposals 48 of the will be realigned.
Under the plans
- 11 wards will move constituencies entirely, down from 20 in the initial proposals
- 17 of 18 constituencies will remain sufficiently the same as at present to render a name change unnecessary.
- Belfast South will become Belfast South and Mid Down.
- Under a previous proposal Strangford would have become Strangford and Quoile, but that proposal has now been ditched.
For more information, visit the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland website.
After the consultation period has ended, and the final recommendations have been submitted to the Speaker of the House of Commons, the government must then implement these within four months, via an Order in Council.
The new boundaries are then used at the first general election after the Order comes into force.