Boundary review meaningless without proportional representation

Today the government published the results of its long-awaited boundary reviews. The plans include a proposal to reduce the number of constituencies down to 600 from 650. The Liberal Democrats have criticised the proposals not only for their perceived bias towards the Conservatives but its lack of commitment to changing from the first-past-the-post voting system. 

Constituencies in Bristol are seeing changes to their make-up, with Easton ward moving from Bristol West to Bristol East. The movement has been criticised by some as Lawrence Hill and Easton will be, despite their local and cultural links, moved into different constituencies. The South West will see its number of representatives drop from 55 to 53. 

James Cox, Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for Bristol West and supporter of Make Votes Matter, said:

"The boundary review exposes the fault line right at the heart of our democracy. Whilst the Tories move a ward here and merge a constituency there, they are fundamentally disenfranchising most voters in our country by sticking with the outdated first-past-the-post system. This is a system that delivers weak governments who lack a democratic mandate and the broad support of the country. 

"Bristol West has had some of the highest numbers of wasted votes in the country at elections. People don't feel that their vote matters. It's a shame that Thangam Debbonaire refuses to get behind the campaign to make votes matter. 

"Labour has accused the Conservatives of 'gerrymandering' with the boundary reviews, but their outrage is hollow whilst they continue to refuse to back moving to a proportional system of voting. It is time that all parties joined together and demanded better of our politics."

The boundary review will be subject to a vote in the House of Commons. The boundary review had been previously blocked by the Liberal Democrats after the Conservatives reneged on House of Lords reform. 

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