When Equality Is Not A Good Thing

Despite the Labour calls of “gerrymandering” I think the UK constituencies should be made as near as damn it equal sizes. I also think the calls from Labour are because they will be losing the advantage they reportedly have at present – Labour: A Future Fair For All (as long as it’s fairer to them).

However, as I was taught in English grammar,  there are always exceptions that prove the rule and in this case it’s the Isle of Wight.

The islanders are currently trying to get the Boundary Commission to accept the islands’ 110,000 voters as a single constituency instead of the recommended size of 75,000 and are concerned that 35,000 could be added to a constituency on the mainland.

According to the BBC website over 4,000 people have signed a petition to keep the Isle of Wight as one parliamentary constituency.

An opposition group called OneWight has been formed to fight any changes which need to be made – the Boundary Commission having until 2013 to make recommendations.

Personally I hope they achieve it as the islands needs are different to the mainland and a mainland MP may now appreciate it as much as an island based one.

Posted in Bounday Changes, Electorial Reform, General
8 comments on “When Equality Is Not A Good Thing
  1. pmt008 says:

    I have to say that I agree. However because we are a nation of many islands, many of whom have very low populations in comparison to constituency recommendations, if it does happen then there will be a lot more cries for representation on a similar level. Not sure how that problem is resolved suitably.

    • getlabourout says:

      It is a tricky one. I think as a general rule constituencies need to be the same size or we go for say 1 MP for every 75,000 voters so a large constituency gets 2 MP’s.

      • pmt008 says:

        But what about the many Scottish isles? Or the Scilly Isles? Or Angelsey?
        Personally, I’d like to see it as a mainland rule and then see where particular groupings of islands have enough in common for them to share an MP. Either that or we give Islands the same power as Man, The Channel Islands and so on.

      • getlabourout says:

        I think the same for the Scottish Isles etc. I think the mainland can be split into reasonable size groups but the Islands are different and should have an MP for one or a group of them.

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  3. I’m not sure if one MP is enough for the Isle of Wight though. It IS the largest constituency at present and should be split. However I strongly believe that both MPs should only represent the Island and not part of the mainland.

    The Scottish Isles should also be exceptions to the rule.

    Anglesey is fine as it is physically connected to the mainland by a physical link (in the same way as Portsmouth which is itself an island)

    • getlabourout says:

      I think a case could be made for 2 MP’s but I think the IoW should be different to the mainland – as per the Scottish Isles.

      Good point on Anglesey and I guess the same as Hayling Island

      • pmt008 says:

        The problem with the argument for 2 MPs for IoW is that the ideal should be to reduce the number of MPs. This might mean that regional devolution could be the way forwards, or else an English parliament that has greater representation for areas like that and then have a proper UK parliament for solely UK matters.

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