This morning the Boundary Commission for England published the new electoral divisions that now includes two new seats of Isle of Wight North and Isle of Wight South.
As Island Pulse reported earlier: Following a new Act of Parliament, work began in March on redrawing the map of parliamentary constituencies. The Isle of Wight’s single seat, once the largest in the Commons, is to be split into two, as only one of a handful exempt from the population rules.
New rules contained in legislation state that every constituency in England (except two covering the Isle of Wight) must have an electorate of between 72,810 and 80,473 – that is 5% either side of the electoral quota of 76,641. However, in all other aspects of the 2013 Review, the Isle of Wight is treated in the same way as other parts of England.
It is proposed that the Isle of Wight North seat will include Cowes and East Cowes, Gurnard, Northwood, Parkhurst, Whippingham and Osborne, the five Newport electoral divisions, Wootton Bridge, Binstead and Fishbourne, Ryde’s five electoral divisions and Seaview and Nettlestone. The rest of the Island is to form a new seat named Isle of Wight South. (view table below)
In response Island MP, Andrew Turner (pictured), is encouraging Islanders to ‘Have Your Say’ on the Boundary Commission’s proposals in dividing the Island into two constituencies following the next election in 2015.
Andrew Turner said:
“Some people will think this is the correct division, others will disagree. I urge Islanders to look at the proposals and make representations to the Boundary Commission to let them know what they think. There is a period of 12 weeks from today to respond to the Commission.”
Initial proposals for the Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is specifically allocated two whole constituencies. While the legislation does not state that the two constituencies should have similar electorates, the Boundary Commission considered that it would be in accordance with the spirit of the legislation to divide the island relatively equally in terms of electorate.
As per the publication stated: “We considered a number of configurations for how to divide the island between constituencies. We propose to divide the island into Isle of Wight North and Isle of Wight South constituencies. The northern constituency is geographically smaller and contains the urban areas of the towns of Cowes, Newport and Ryde. The geographically larger southern constituency is more rural in nature. It extends from The Needles in the west to Bembridge in the east.”
Asked about his own future Mr Turner said :
“I will be the MP for the whole of the Island until the next election and I do not think it would be helpful to speculate about whether I will stand for one seat or the other. I can confirm that I do intend to stand at the next election, but I will not be making any further plans until the selection processes begin; that will probably be towards the end of 2013 because the proposals will not go before Parliament until then.
Until the next election I will continue to serve the whole of the Island to the best of my ability.
Main Image Table: Isle of Wight North would consist of: Binstead and Fishbourne, Cowes Medina, Cowes North, Cowes South and Northwood, Cowes West and Gurnard, East Cowes, Nettlestone and Seaview, Newport Central, Newport East, Newport North, Newport South, Newport West, Parkhurst, Ryde East, Ryde North East, Ryde North West, Ryde South, Ryde West, Whippingham and Osborne, and Wootton Bridge.
Isle of Wight South would consist of: Arreton and Newchurch, Brading, St Helens and Bembridge, Carisbrooke, Central Wight, Chale, Niton and Whitwell, Freshwater North, Freshwater South, Godshill and Wroxall, Havenstreet, Ashey and Haylands, Lake North, Lake South, Sandown North, Sandown South, Shanklin Central, Shanklin South, Totland, Ventnor East, Ventnor West, and West Wight.
The Boundary Commission for England is an independent and impartial non-departmental public body which is responsible for reviewing Parliamentary constituency boundaries in England. To find out more and have your say visit www.boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk website.
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