LABOUR called for “undemocratic” plans to change constituency boundaries to be dropped yesterday after projections showed that they would have given the Tories an undeserved majority.
Had the June election taken place under the proposals for 2022, Prime Minister Theresa May would have scooped a majority of 16 while Labour frontbenchers’ seats would have disappeared altogether, University of Plymouth researchers projected.
Her predecessor David Cameron had introduced the plans to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600.
While professors Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher projected 308 MPs for Ms May under the changes mooted by the boundary commissions for England, Scotland and Wales, Jeremy Corbyn’s own Islington North seat would be in jeopardy.
It could also put him in a situation where he could have to compete with two of his closest allies — shadow foreign secretary and Finsbury Park MP Emily Thornberry and shadow home secretary and Stoke Newington MP Diane Abbott — to represent a single Islington seat.
Shadow minister for voter engagement Cat Smith said the Tories should drop their “undemocratic” plans.
“Labour stands ready to work with all parties to ensure that a boundary review can go ahead in a way that benefits our democracy, not just the Conservative Party,” she said.
“However it has been clear from the start that the Tories have only been interested in their own political advantage, rather than what is in the best interests of the country.”
Shadow fire minister Chris Williamson MP described the proposed changes as “gerrymandering writ large.” He also said that the Tories were trying to shift constituency boundaries for their own interest and that Labour would work with any political party to push forward a “fairer review.”
The plan could also cost Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson his Uxbridge & South Ruislip seat if it is scrapped and large parts are moved to a new constituency of Hillingdon & Uxbridge.
But Ms May’s failure to secure a majority in June — leading her to resort to a £1 billion deal with the DUP — makes it highly unlikely the reforms will take effect, as MPs are expected to vote them down.
The plan is subject to an eight-week consultation before going before MPs in September 2018.