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Constituency shake-up to complicate elections

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Proposals to reduce the number of MPs will have the knock-on effect of complicating the running of elections, electoral experts have warned.

The Boundary Commission published a consultation on new parliamentary constituencies Monday that will see the number in England reduce from 533 to 502.

However, according to the Association of Electoral Administrators, the proposals would lead to an increase in the number of constituencies that cross local authority boundaries.

“It complicates the issue, that’s definitely the case,” said AEA chief executive John Turner.

Mr Turner said that many returning officers were already used to co-ordinating with colleagues across boundaries but that there would now be “more constituencies where that’s the case”.

“Some people who haven’t had to deal with this previously will now have to do it,” he added. “We run training courses and those that we put in place before the next parliamentary elections will concentrate on this cross-boundary issue.”

Under the terms of the review, every constituency must have an electorate (as at the review date) that is no less than 95% and no more than 105% of the UK electoral quota of 76641 electors. Simon James, secretary to the commission, said: “Parliament has set clear rules on what we can and can’t do when it comes to developing our initial proposals – the Boundary Commission was given clear principles and from that starting point we have found a solution that we think best meets Parliament’s rules and now we want to know what people think of our initial proposals.”

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