Good work from David Young, of the Press Association…
BREAKING – Belfast set to retain 4 electoral constituencies as part of major revisions to proposals to redraw boundaries in NI, according to a Boundary Commission map obtained by @PA – new map radically different to politically contentious 2016 plan to cut seats from 18 to 17. pic.twitter.com/CxzVCYjeKH
— David Young (@DavidYoungPA) January 17, 2018
…the revised map that was accessible on the Commission website on Monday is significantly different. Belfast retains its four seats, with radical changes to the constituency landscape beyond the city. All the new named constituencies in the first draft are gone.
The commission, which is an independent body funded by the Northern Ireland Office, has conducted a number of public consultation exercises on its first proposals and is anticipated to officially publish revised proposals at the end of the month.
The map that briefly went public on Monday envisages the creation of a Causeway constituency on the north coast, merging part of East Londonderry with part of North Antrim and a small section of East Antrim.
The remainder of North Antrim is renamed Mid Antrim and takes in parts of East Antrim and South Antrim.
South Antrim, in turn, takes part of a defunct Lagan Valley. Another portion of Lagan Valley merges with a section of Strangford, and a small part of South Down, to become Mid Down. South Belfast is also expanded to take in parts of Lagan Valley and Strangford. Like Lagan Valley, the Strangford name is gone. The remaining chunk of the constituency is absorbed into a significantly larger North Down.
The remaining parts of East Londonderry are absorbed by enlarged West Tyrone and Mid Ulster constituencies. Unlike the expansion proposed under the first draft, Fermanagh and South Tyrone remains largely unchanged.
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