Consultation on Scotland’s Westminster constituencies close to end

Picture: JP
Picture: JP
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People are being urged to respond to a consultation on wide-ranging changes to Scotland’s Westminster constituencies, which closes in 10 days time.

Seats held by Labour’s only Scottish MP Ian Murray and former SNP depute leader Stewart Hosie are among those facing the axe as part of the changes.

The number of MPs in Scotland is being cut from 59 to 53 as part of a plan to reduce the total number of Westminster seats from 650 to 600 ahead of the 2020 general election.

Initial proposals published by the Boundary Commission for Scotland reveal only three seats north of the border remain completely unchanged - the two protected islands constituencies of the Western Isles and Orkney and Shetland along with East Lothian.

The Boundary Commission for Scotland issued its Initial Proposals for Scottish constituencies for consultation on October 20 last year and held five public hearings, in Ayr, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness, to allow people to make representations in person.

Lord Matthews, deputy chair of the Boundary Commission for Scotland, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has participated in the Boundary Commission consultation so far, by making a representation or attending one of our public hearings.

“As we enter the final 10 days of this consultation stage, I’d encourage people to seize this valuable opportunity to make their voice heard on these important changes.

“All representations will be published in the spring for people to consider and later in the year we will consult further on changes to our proposals, if needed, and where the legislation allows us to do so.”

Under new rules, constituencies should be within 5% of the UK electoral average or ‘’quota’’ of 74,769, with exceptions made when the constituency is larger than 12,000 square kilometres.

Consultation on the initial proposals runs until January 11, with final proposals due to be submitted for UK Parliament approval in September 2018.