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Boundary changes

In the coalition government, the Conservatives had wanted to reduce the number of MPs and change the constituency boundaries. They gave the Boundary Commission a brief to recommend new boundaries. The Commission was required to equalise the number of voters in each constituency within set parameters and to use district or borough council wards as the basis for constructing constituencies.

The changes would have favoured the Conservative Party.

The proposals were blocked by the Liberal Democrats in retaliation for the blocking of House of Lords reform by the Tories.

In 2015 the Conservatives resurrected these proposals. Overall, the size of the House of Commons would be reduced by 50.

They say that they wish to reduce the cost of Parliament, but since they adopted the policy they have created more than 50 new peers, which acccording to some calculations will use up the savings from reducing the number of MPs.

After the 2017 general election the government has not mentioned this proposal; so, it is not clear whether they intend to try to go ahead with it. It seems more likely that it will be quietly dropped, because, although the change would favour the Conservatives, the reduction in seats would mean that some Conservatives lost their seats.

There is more information in this news item about the proposals that were made for this constituency.

General Elections

In 1997 and in 2001, Labour came close to winning the constituency. The Tory majorities were 3,088 and 3,444 respectively.  In common with most constituencies, we lost voter share in 2005. The majority of this lost share went to the Liberal Democrats.

In 2010, we lost further voter share, both to the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives. For the first time since the formation of the constituency, the Conservatives had an overall majority of the votes and Labour was pushed temporarily into third place.

In 2015, we increased the Labour vote slightly and returned to second place, but the Tory majority was 19,080.

The Constituency

Currently, the constituency extends from Letchworth Garden City and Baldock in the west to the Pelhams in the east, and from Royston in the north to Little Berkhamsted and Letty Green in the south. It includes Ashwell, Walkern, Benington, Buntingford, Puckeridge, Standon, Thundridge, Watton-at-Stone and Tewin (see map below).

Constituency boundaries for the next general election

Image produced from the Ordnance Survey electionmap service. Image reproduced with permission of Ordnance Survey and Land and Property Services. On the electionmap website you can zoom in to different parts of the constituency and you can overlay ward boundaries.

Labour's red roseHosted by Ltd., Units H, J, K, Gateway 1000, Whittle Way, Stevenage, Herts. SG1 2FP. Promoted by David Bell on behalf of the North East Hertfordshire Labour Party, both of Town Farm House, Mill End, Standon, Ware, Herts SG11 1LP.