- London currently has 73 constituencies. Of these constituencies, 20 have electorates within the permitted range. The electorates of 20 constituencies were below the permitted range, while the electorates of 33 constituencies were above. Our proposals increase the number of constituencies in the region by two, to 75.
- London comprises the 32 London boroughs and the City of London Corporation.2
- We appointed two Assistant Commissioners for London – John Feavyour QPM and Parjinder Basra – to assist us with the analysis of the representations received during the first two consultation periods. This included chairing public hearings, which were held in the region in order to hear oral evidence directly from the public. The dates and locations of these hearings were:
- Westminster: 24–25 February 2022
- Havering: 28 February–1 March 2022
- Ealing: 3–4 March 2022
- Merton: 7–8 March 2022
- Bromley: 10–11 March 2022.
2 In the remainder of this section, general references to ‘borough’ should be taken to include the Corporation, where the context permits,
unless expressly stated otherwise
Sub-division of the region
- In formulating our initial proposals, we noted that the electorate of London of 5,550,454 results in it being mathematically entitled to 75.63 constituencies. The statutory formula for distribution of numbers of constituencies to different parts of the UK (and applied by us equally to the English regions) allocated 75, rather than 76, constituencies to London – an increase of two from the current number. We then considered how 75 constituencies could be split across the region, seeking to respect the geographic boundary of the River Thames between ‘North’ and ‘South’ London.
- We noted that the four boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge, and Waltham Forest have a total electorate of 662,740, resulting in a mathematical entitlement to 9.03 constituencies. We therefore decided to allocate nine constituencies to these four boroughs, the same as the existing allocation, and treat them together as the North East London sub-region.
- The two boroughs of Newham and Tower Hamlets have a combined electorate of 368,155, resulting in a mathematical entitlement to 5.02 constituencies. We therefore proposed to treat these two boroughs together as a sub-region, with an allocation of five constituencies – an increase of one from the current number.
- In formulating our initial proposals, we decided to treat the North Central and North West London areas together as a single sub-region, since our investigations showed that treating the North Central area as a stand-alone region meant its constituencies would have to be very near the maximum permitted electorate, significantly narrowing the options for building constituencies without needing to split multiple wards. We therefore proposed a North Central and North West London sub-region comprising the boroughs of: Barnet; Brent; Camden; the City of London; Ealing; Enfield; Hackney; Hammersmith and Fulham; Haringey; Harrow; Hillingdon; Hounslow; Islington; Kensington and Chelsea; Richmond upon Thames (that part which lies on the north side of the River Thames); and Westminster. The total electorate of this sub-region, at 2,397,559, results in a mathematical entitlement to 32.66 constituencies. We allocated the sub-region 32 constituencies, rather than 33, considering that this larger area would be the optimal place to accommodate the difference between London’s mathematical entitlement and allocation of constituencies, as mentioned above.
- When exploring sub-region arrangements for South London, we noted that it would be possible to consider South Central and South West London separately. However, our investigations showed that it was difficult to create a practicable scheme of constituencies in a stand-alone South Central sub-region without needing to split multiple wards. We therefore decided to treat the South Central and South West areas together to form a single sub-region consisting of the boroughs of: Croydon; Kingston upon Thames; Lambeth; Lewisham; Merton; Richmond upon Thames (that part which lies on the south side of the River Thames); Southwark; Sutton; and Wandsworth. This sub-region has an electorate of 1,538,390, resulting in a mathematical entitlement to 20.95 constituencies. We therefore allocated 21 constituencies to this sub-region.
- The three boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, and Greenwich have a combined electorate of 583,610 and a mathematical entitlement to 7.96 constituencies. We therefore proposed to treat these three boroughs together as the South East London sub-region, with an allocation of eight constituencies.
- We noted that the existing Lewisham West and Penge constituency crossed between our proposed South Central and South West, and South East sub-regions. However, given that our proposed sub-regions were each entitled to an almost whole number of constituencies, we considered that adhering to these sub-regions would enable a better reflection of the statutory factors across the whole of South London than if we retained the existing Lewisham West and Penge constituency.
- The principle of maintaining the River Thames as a geographical boundary between North London and South London was mostly supported during the consultation on the initial proposals. Our North East London sub-region and Newham and Tower Hamlets sub-region received almost unanimous support. We did receive objections to the split of sub-regions elsewhere, particularly regarding North Central and North West London, and South Central and South West London, with alternative arrangements suggested such as: separate North Central and North West sub-regions, using the A5 (Edgware Road) as a geographical dividing line. Some respondents proposed breaking down the North Central and North West area into three or even four smaller sub-regions. We also received proposals to create stand-alone South West and South Central sub-regions, respecting the borough boundary between Croydon and Merton; and various different groupings of boroughs in the South Central and South East areas.
- In formulating our revised proposals, we were persuaded by the evidence received to divide the North Central and North West sub-region into two smaller sub-regions respecting the A5 road as a boundary. We considered that this approach would, on the whole, minimise change to the existing constituencies (particularly across North Central London), reduce the number of borough boundary crossings, and better reflect local ties in a number of areas. We were also persuaded by the evidence to treat South West and South Central London as separate sub-regions, considering that this approach allowed for improvements to the initial proposals in respect of the statutory factors. Mindful of some finely balanced arguments in the areas of South Central and South East London, we were ultimately not persuaded by the evidence to revise our initially proposed South East sub-region.
- In response to our revised proposals, we did not receive any further evidence that would justify the use of alternative sub-regions to those we adopted in our revised proposals. Therefore, the sub-regions we propose as part of the final recommendations are:
- North East London (Barking and Dagenham; Havering; Redbridge; and Waltham Forest)
- Newham and Tower Hamlets
- North Central London (Barnet; Camden; Enfield; Hackney; Haringey; and Islington)
- North West London (Brent; the City of London; Ealing; Hammersmith and Fulham; Harrow; Hillingdon; Hounslow; Kensington and Chelsea; Richmond upon Thames (north); and Westminster)
- South West London (Kingston upon Thames; Merton; Richmond upon Thames (south); Sutton; and Wandsworth)
- South Central London (Croydon; Lambeth; Lewisham; and Southwark)
- South East London (Bexley; Bromley; and Greenwich).