Who we are and what we do
The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) is an independent and impartial non-departmental public body, which is responsible for reviewing Parliamentary constituency boundaries in England.
The 2023 Review
We have the task of periodically reviewing the boundaries of all the Parliamentary constituencies in England. We are currently conducting a review on the basis of legislative rules most recently updated by Parliament in 2020. Those rules tell us that we must make recommendations for new Parliamentary constituency boundaries by 1 July 2023. While retaining the overall number of constituencies across the UK at 650, the rules apply a distribution formula that results in an increase in the number of constituencies in England (from 533 to 543). The rules also require that every recommended constituency across the UK – apart from five specified exceptions (two of them in England) – must have an electorate that is no smaller than 69,724 and no larger than 77,062.
We published our initial proposals for the new Parliamentary constituency boundaries in England on 8 June 2021. Information about the proposed constituencies is now available on our website at www.boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk
What is changing in the South West region?
The South West region has been allocated 58 constituencies – an increase of three from the current number.
Our proposals leave three of the 55 existing constituencies wholly unchanged, and 12 unchanged except to realign constituency boundaries with new local government ward boundaries.
As it has not always been possible to allocate whole numbers of constituencies to individual counties, we have grouped some county council and unitary authority areas into sub-regions. The number of constituencies allocated to each sub-region is determined by the combined electorate of the local authorities they contain.
Consequently, it has been necessary to propose some constituencies that cross county council or unitary authority boundaries, although we have sought to keep such crossings to a minimum.
|Sub-region||Existing allocation||Proposed allocation|
|Avon1, Somerset and Devon2||28||30|
|Gloucestershire and Wiltshire5||13||14|
In the Avon, Somerset and Devon sub-region, the increase by two in the number of constituencies has meant that significant change to the existing pattern of constituencies is necessary. We are proposing three constituencies that cross county boundaries. The proposed Tiverton and Minehead constituency will cross the county boundary between Somerset and Devon. The proposed Wells and Mendip Hills, and Frome constituencies will cross the county boundary between Somerset and Avon. Elsewhere in this proposed sub-region, there are a total of five constituencies that are either wholly unchanged or only changed to realign with local government ward boundaries.
In Plymouth we propose dividing the Peverell ward between the Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, and Plymouth Moor View constituencies in order to keep change elsewhere to a minimum and to allow for the Devonport ward to remain in a maritime constituency.
In Cornwall it has been possible to propose a pattern of six constituencies that are contained wholly within the county. We are proposing relatively minor changes to the existing constituencies in Cornwall.
We have considered Dorset as its own sub-region, with an allocation of eight constituencies. In parts of the county we are proposing minor changes to the pattern of existing constituencies.
The combined sub-region of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire is allocated 14 constituencies in our proposals (an increase of one). Our proposed Cirencester and North Wiltshire constituency will cross the county boundary between Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.
How to have your say
We are consulting on our initial proposals for an eight-week period, from 8 June 2021 to 2 August 2021. We encourage everyone to use this opportunity to help us shape the new constituencies – the more responses we receive, the more informed our decisions will be when considering whether to revise our proposals. Our consultation portal at www.bcereviews.org.uk has more information about our proposals and how to give us
your views on them. You can also follow us on Twitter @BCEReviews or at
1 Comprising of the counties of Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire hereafter together referred to as ‘Avon’.
2 Comprising of the counties including Plymouth and Torbay hereafter together referred to as ‘Devon’.
3 Including Isles of Scilly hereafter together referred to as ‘Cornwall’.
4 Comprising of the counties including Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole hereafter together referred to as ‘Dorset’.
5 Including Swindon hereafter together referred to as ‘Wiltshire’.