First response to boundary changes…

Nick Whyte has some excellent highlighted detail on the Boundary Commission‘s latest suggestion for amendments to the Westminster/Assembly boundaries. Those wishing to make representations should do so by 24 June 2006. Nick’s five one liners:

* This is much more modest than the original set of changes in their provisional recommendations.
* I don’t see any significant impact on the next Westminster elections as a result of the new boundaries.
* At Assembly level, the SDLP will lose their current seat in Lagan Valley; but there will now be now a safe Nationalist seat in East Antrim (where the SDLP won an unexpected seat in the 1998 elections, but lost it in 2003).
* The changes to South Belfast, plus last week’s demise of the Women’s Coalition, will put Alliance in a stronger position to win a seat there; though the party still has quite some way to go.

* The entrenchment of six Assembly seats per constituency in the Good Friday Agreement results in the under-representation of voters in Newry and Armagh, North Antrim and Upper Bann, which are all large enough

to warrant a seventh seat at Assembly elections.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

Living History 1968-74

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