(Copy of an email sent to constituents who had taken part in the public consultation with the Boundary Commission for England.)
As you know, the Tory-led Government are committed to cutting the size of the House of Commons at the next General Election from the current 650 constituencies to just 600 seats. The effect of parliamentary boundary changes would probably have given the Conservative Party a 20-25 seat advantage without a single vote being cast.
The proposed new boundaries would also have torn up long established community ties; abolishing the Denton and Reddish seat, which has existed since 1983, and controversially, Reddish North would have been placed in an enlarged Manchester Gorton constituency!
Last night, the House of Lords forced a vote on the boundary changes, and because the Liberal Democrats voted with Labour Peers, the Government were defeated (by 300 votes to 231). The effect of this vote is to delay the proposed boundary review until 2018.
That means the next General Election will now almost certainly be fought on the existing boundaries. Whether the boundary changes happen after that obviously depends on the outcome of the 2015 General Election.
David Cameron has said the proposals – defeated in the Lords last night – will now come back to the Commons in the next couple of weeks. He is desperately trying to cobble together a majority without the Liberal Democrats, but so far the minor parties (Scottish Nationalists, Green, Independents, Alliance, Democratic Unionist Party and Welsh Nationalists) don’t seem to be playing ball.
Obviously I will continue to keep you updated, but it does indeed look like the boundary changes won’t happen any time soon (if at all).
Thank you for the support you have shown for retaining the Denton and Reddish constituency.
With best wishes
ANDREW GWYNNE MP
Shadow Health Minister
Labour – Denton and Reddish