There has been some speculation about the possible redrawing of boundaries in Brighton and Hove. The Sage that is Anthony Zacharzewski says that he would “be interested to hear what the BPB makes of either scenario, assuming that the Boundaries Commission don’t want to go beyond the Downs to incorporate Ditchling, Poynings etc into the city’s constituencies”.
The Sage describes these two scenarios: “There’s one scenario where the new constituencies are drawn on a baseline of the eastern edge of the city, with Telscombe etc falling into a new Lewes constituency and the city being basically East Brighton (not in the ward sense), Central Brighton with Hove, and Portslade with Shoreham. Alternatively, as someone suggests upstream, they could pivot the other way, and take in bits of Newhaven.”
Others have speculated on how boundaries might be redrawn. Mark Shappard writes: “In the 2010 election Brighton Kemptown constituency had 6,253 fewer registered voters than the minimum that will be required in the next general election. As Brighton Pavilion had a number that’s well within the correct range I imagine the boundaries for that will stay pretty much the same, forcing Brighton Kemptown to be extended further outside the city. So it may well end up taking in the whole of Newhaven, which has just voted in Liberal Democrats to all 18 of its town council seats.”
The range, according to Mark, is that each constituency in the future must have between 72,810 and 80,473 electors and that the three local constituencies had the following number of electors at the 2010 GE:
Brighton Pavilion: 73,430
Brighton Kemptown: 66,557
But nobody has suggested a third way (why does nobody talk about the Third Way anymore?) – leave Hove as is, other than with the addition of a couple of hundred voters along, say, the ‘Brighton’ side of Dyke Road and Dyke Road Avenue, thus achieving the c73,000 minimum. Then create Brighton Coastal and Brighton North. Brighton Coastal could extend beyond Rottingdean Coastal and into Lewes District to get it over the 73,000 mark.
This would split and undermine the Greens, with Regency, Queens Park, St Peters and North Laine, and Hanover becoming part of Brighton Coastal, and being ‘neutralised’ by the weight of Tory votes in Rottingdean Coastal and beyond. There is no particular logic to this option other than to gerrymander constituencies to reduce the chances of Caroline Lucas being re-elected. But then the presence of someone like Ms Lucas threatens and undermines the consensus between the three main parties.
The reality for many, particularly in Labour (including those on the left) is that they would rather see a Tory left in place than a Green winning.
Filed under: General Election 2015 | Tagged: Anthony Zacharzewski, Boundaries Commission, Brighton, Caroline Lucas, Ditchling, electoral boundaries, gerrymander, Hove, Mark Sheppard, Poynings | 10 Comments »