Yesterday the Boundary Commission for England released it’s proposed changes to parliamentary constituency boundaries.
The headlines for Luton are:
Luton South loses the parts of Central Beds (the village of Caddington and the surrounding area) it currently has to a Hemel Hempstead seat. It gains from Luton North the two wards of Barnfield and Saints.
Luton North loses those wards but gains the four Central Bedfordshire wards that contain the town of Dunstable. It is renamed Luton North and Dunstable. I’m not yet sure what I think about this change.
The big news for the rest of Bedfordshire is that Nadine Dorries’ seat of Mid Bedfordshire is effectively abolished. It’s various wards are broken up and distributed amongst the remaining Bedfordshire seats and two of the Hertfordshire seats. This has the potential to lead to an interesting Conservative selection battle for the reconfigured South West Bedfordshire constituency.
I had blogged previously about the potential implications of the boundary change for Luton. I was right in my expectation that the two Luton constituencies would be shifted north and west respectively. But I wasn’t expecting Luton North to be joined with the whole of Dunstable.
I will confess to a little bit of disappointment that the fun and games of a Luton South and Harpenden seat have been avoided!
As for the political implications of this, my initial reaction is that these changes make Luton South a little safer for Labour. It is bad news for the Tories in the seat as they lose the mainly Conservative voting Caddington. It could also be good news for the Liberal Democrats. At the last local elections they got a reasonably good vote share in the two wards that move into the constituency from Luton North and they have one councillor in Barnfield.
At the moment I am less clear about the implications of Luton North joining with Dunstable other than it will make the seat more competitive.
However, the big question is whether or not these proposals get implemented. They have to get the approval of parliament first and there is that old thing about turkeys and Christmas.
This content was originally posted on my old Strange Thoughts blog.