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Boundary Commission for England


2018 Review

This page contains general information about the 2018 Review. To see our current proposals for new constituencies, please go to our consultation website. You can also access information and data about the proposals on the initial proposals page of the current website.

Background information

View our six-minute quick introductory video on what the 2018 Review is all about, then read on below for further information.

In February 2016, we announced a new review of Parliamentary constituencies in England – called the 2018 Review because we must report with our recommendations in September 2018.

What is the boundary review?

Parliamentary boundaries define the geographic area represented by each MP – their Parliamentary constituency. A Parliamentary boundary review examines the existing constituencies and makes recommendations for any changes that might be needed to make sure constituencies comply with legal requirements. Those legal requirements are intended to keep the number of electors in each constituency broadly equal, whilst also taking into account factors such as local community ties.

For the 2018 Review, the Commission must make its final report and recommendations  in September 2018. The final recommendations will be informed by a series of open consultations with the public, to capture the knowledge and expertise of local people as part of the process of refining our initial proposals.

Why are we doing a review?

Parliament has specified that the 2018 Review must reduce the number of constituencies in the UK to 600 (from the current 650). As independent and impartial bodies, the Parliamentary Boundary Commissions are required to review and recommend where the boundaries of those new constituencies should be, with the law requiring that every new constituency (except four specified island constituencies) must have roughly the same number of electors: no fewer than 71,031 and no more than 78,507.  

What does this mean for England?

The law requires the 600 constituencies to be allocated to England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales using a specific distribution formula known as the ‘Sainte-Lague method’, and the number of Parliamentary electors as at 1 December 2015. Applying this means the number of constituencies in England will reduce from 533 to 501 in the 2018 Review. We felt it was important to mirror the spirit of the legislation in allocating the number of constituencies to the component regions of England – this was a widely accepted approach previously. This produces the following distribution within England:

Region Electorate Existing constituencies Proposed constituencies
Eastern 4,242,266 58 57
East Midlands 3,275,046 46 44
London 5,118,884 73 68
North East 1,874,396 29 25
North West 5,074,302 75 68
South East 6,067,475* 83* 81*
South West 3,930,770 55 53
West Midlands 3,989,320 59 53
Yorkshire and the Humber 3,722,035 54 50
Total 37,294,494* 532* 499*

* figures exclude one current Isle of Wight constituency and its electorate, and two proposed Isle of Wight constituencies, which are protected under the Act and removed from the calculation to allocate constituencies.

The Commission’s proposals and final recommendations will therefore be drawn up on the basis of this distribution of constituencies. 

What happens now?

The Commission published on 13 September 2016 initial proposals for new constituencies in England and consulted on them for 12 weeks. The Commission is currently preparing these representations for publication, which we expect to happen in spring 2017.

Read more in our Guide to the 2018 Review and our full FAQs