In news which will doubtless delight Dr Evan Harris, Chris Bryant MP, and others who seek the even greater liberalisation of the UK's abortion laws, it looks as though Nadine Dorries may lose her seat (Mid Bedfordshire) as part of the review of Parliamentary constituency boundaries by the Boundary Commission for England. The full proposals for the Eastern Region may be found HERE
, but the relevant section is reproduced below:
Initial proposals for the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire sub-region
27. There are currently 17 constituencies in this sub-region, only six of which (Hertford and Stortford, Hitchin and Harpenden, Mid Bedfordshire, North East Bedfordshire, South West Bedfordshire, and South WestHertfordshire) have electorates within 5% of the electoral quota. Of the remaining constituencies, ten are below the 5% limit, and one is above. We propose to reduce the number of constituencies to 16.
28. We considered whether we could leave unchanged any of the six existing constituencies that have an electorate within 5% of the electoral quota. However, in developing proposals in which all the electorates are within the 5% limit, and taking account of the reduction in the number of constituencies in this sub-region, we propose changing all the constituencies.
29. In Luton, in order to increase the electorate of the existing Luton South constituency, we propose the inclusion of the Barnfield and Saints wards of the Borough of Luton, currently in the Luton North constituency. As a consequence of this change, it is necessary to increase the electorate of the Luton North constituency by including the four Central Bedfordshire District wards that contain the town of Dunstable, which have a direct link into the constituency along the A505. To compensate for the loss of Dunstable, the South West Bedfordshire constituency is extended northwards with the inclusion of four Central Bedfordshire wards, including the town of Flitwick, that are in the existing Mid Bedfordshire constituency.
30. We noted that the electorate of the existing Bedford constituency was too small and we propose that it be extended to the west to include the Bromham and Turvey wards of the Borough of Bedford. However, this change requires us to alter the existing North Bedfordshire constituency and we therefore propose that the remainder of the Borough of Bedford be included in our North Bedfordshire constituency, together with seven wards from the District of Central Bedfordshire, including the towns of Ampthill, Biggleswade, and Sandy.
31. The electorate of the existing Hertsmere constituency is too small and we propose to increase its electorate by including the Carpenders Park ward of the District of Three Rivers. Although there is no direct road link within the constituency between the Carpenders Park area and Hertsmere, including this ward allows us not to have to make more significant alterations to the St Albans constituency to the north and the Welwyn Hatfield constituency to the north east.
32. The three Abbots Langley wards to the north of Watford and the Ashridge ward of the Borough of Dacorum are included in our South West Hertfordshire constituency. Five wards from the District of Three Rivers to the south of Watford are included in our Watford constituency, in place of the three Abbots Langley wards. We noted that this would alter the existing South West Hertfordshire constituency, which could have been left unchanged. However, we considered that the five wards from the District of Three Rivers that we propose including in the Watford constituency – Ashridge, Hayling, Moor Park & Eastbury, Northwick, and Oxhey Hall – are close geographically to Watford.
33. The electorate of the existing Hemel Hempstead constituency is too small and, to compensate for the loss of the Ashridge ward mentioned previously, we propose that the South East Bedfordshire ward of the District of Central Bedfordshire, from the existing Luton South constituency, be included in our Hemel Hempstead constituency. The electorate of the existing St Albans constituency also needs to be increased and we propose that the constituency be extended northwards to include two wards of the City of St Albans (Redbourn and Sandridge), both of which are very close to St Albans itself, from the existing Hitchin and Harpenden constituency. As a result, we propose that the existing Hitchin and Harpenden constituency be extended northwards to include three wards from the District of Central Bedfordshire (Langford and Henlow Village, Shefford, and Silsoe and Shillington), which have direct links with the existing Hitchin and Harpenden constituency.
34. Of the remaining five existing constituencies in Hertfordshire, only the Hertford and Stortford constituency has an electorate that is within 5% of the electoral quota. However, we have altered this constituency to accommodate the changes that have to be made to the other four (Broxbourne, North East Hertfordshire, Stevenage, and Welwyn Hatfield) in order for all five to have an electorate within 5% of the electoral quota.
35. We propose that the existing Stevenage constituency be extended to the north to include the Chesfield ward of the District of North Hertfordshire and to the east to include the Walkern ward of the District of East Hertfordshire. In particular, we noted that the Chesfield ward contains an area that links directly into the north of Stevenage.
36. We propose that the existing Broxbourne constituency be extended northwards by including two wards of the District of East Hertfordshire (Great Amwell and Stanstead Abbots). To compensate for the loss of these wards, we propose extending the existing Hertford and Stortford constituency to the north west by including two wards of the District of East Hertfordshire (Little Hadham, and Thundridge & Standon).
37. The existing Welwyn Hatfield constituency is extended eastwards by including three wards from the District of East Hertfordshire (Hertford Rural North, Hertford Rural South, and Watton-at-Stone). To compensate for the loss of these wards, the existing North East Hertfordshire constituency is extended northwards to include two wards from the District of Central Bedfordshire (Potton, and Stotfold and Arlesey). To reflect the change in the composition of the constituency, we propose changing this constituency’s name to Letchworth.
All of which amounts to the effective abolition of the constituency of Mid Bedfordshire. MPs will be competing against one another to secure each new seat, and an awful lot of that process will depend upon how much back-slapping, whip-satisfying and PM-appeasing each MP has demonstrated during their period in office. Mrs Dorries is not likely to be viewed favourably by many of her colleagues, and will certainly not be advanced by CCHQ (who tend to roll their eyes whenever her name is mentioned). On the bright side, it is to be observed that being ejected from Parliament has not diminished the influence of Dr Evan Harris
one iota (indeed, it may even have enhanced it). Perhaps Mrs Dorries might learn a thing or two from his strategy.