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Wales 30

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Wales 30 Empty Wales 30

Post  penddu Sat 12 Mar 2011 - 11:01

The number of Westminster seats will be cut from 40 to 30 shortly, which in my opinion is still 30 too many. However, until we can get rid of these completely, it is worth looking at how these might look. There are those who complain that we should not be losing these seats at all, and that the geography of Wales makes this difficult to achieve, but to be honest these are just excuses. It is perfectly feasible to carve Wales up in a practical and realsitic way, providing you start with the premise that this is going to happen anyway, and that it should be done objectively without any political bias or gerrymandering.

I have used the 2003 electorate figures (because I dont have the latest ones) but this should not make much of diference and would only result in minor adjustments in any case.

Using these figures, Wales has an electorate of 2,225,599 which means that the target electorate for each seat should be 74,187. I have aimed to achieve this figure +/- 1.5% in each seat but increasing occasionally to +/-3%.

I have used the preserved counties as a starting point but it is not possible to maintain the electoral quota within these boundaries, so I have crossed these when neccesary. I have also tried to observe existing county boundaries where possible, but again it is not possible to strictly observe these so I have also crossed these as neccesary. What I have not done is follow existing constituencies (except in so far as they respect county boundaries) and I have not made any politcal judgements. The hardest areas to get right were not the rural areas, but the South Wales Valleys, where there are many geographical barriers to consider.

I have attached a series of proposals for each 'preserved' county as follows using maps adapted from the previous boundary commission reports. All the names are temporary working names only - and the overall map looks like this:

Wales 30 Wales311

Last edited by penddu on Fri 18 Mar 2011 - 8:54; edited 3 times in total


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Wales 30 Empty GWYNEDD

Post  penddu Sat 12 Mar 2011 - 11:13

Gwynedd is entitled to 1.9 seats, so in order to achieve a consistent electoral quota it is neccesary to borrow around 7,500 electors from either Clwyd or Powys. I considered including some of Conwy's coast strip or the upper Conwy valley, but decided to instead include the Machynlleth area of Powys. Mainly because this Welsh-speaking town seems to fit more naturally in Gwynedd than it does with the border towns of eastern Powys.

Ynys Mon has an electorate of just under 50,000 so needs to be combined with 24,000 voters on the mainland (although an island it has two good bridges connecting it to the mainland and there is no justification for treating it as a special case). By adding the Bangor area I have created a new seat called Menai. This leaves the remainder of Gwynedd plus the Machynlleth area to form a second seat, which I have called Gwynedd.

Menai 99.6% (Ynys Mon & Bangor)
Gwynedd 97.0% (Gwynedd - Bangor + Machynlleth)

Wales 30 Gwyned10

Last edited by penddu on Mon 14 Mar 2011 - 17:54; edited 3 times in total


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Wales 30 Empty CLWYD

Post  penddu Sat 12 Mar 2011 - 11:39

Clwyd is entitled to 4.9 seats, so in order to achieve the electoral quota it is neccesary to add around 7,000 votes from northern Powys, to achieve 5 seats.

Starting from the west, Conwy county is too big for a single seat, so it is neccesary to reduce this by around 14,000 electors, by transferring the Abergele and Towyn areas to a neigbouring seat, which makes the new Conwy seat the correct size.

The Abergele area can then be joined to most of Denbighshire (apart from a few rural areas in the far south) to form a new Clwyd seat of the correct size.

Flintshire would be entitled to 1.5 seats, so I have created a new seat of Nouth Flintshire which excludes the Mold, and Buckley areas which again achieves the corect quota.

I then propose to add the remainder of South Flintshire to Wrexham, which together with the remaining areas of North Powys and South Denbighshire would form two seats. I have split these two seats on a north-south basis, so we have North Wrexham & South Flintshire, and South Wrexham. This is not ideal, and I am sure that someone with a little more local knowledge could improve upon my split, or even split these on an east-west basis. But it is at least a starting point.

Conwy 99.4% (Conwy county - Abergele area)
Clwyd 101.4% (Abergele + Denbighshire)
North Flintshre 99.7% (Flintshire - Mold & Buckley)
North Wrecsam 101.9% (North Wrexham + Mold & Buckley)
South Wrecsam 101.1% (Wrexham town + Chirk, Dee Valley & North Powys)

Wales 30 Clwyd310

Last edited by penddu on Mon 14 Mar 2011 - 17:57; edited 3 times in total


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Wales 30 Empty POWYS

Post  penddu Sat 12 Mar 2011 - 11:48

Powys is entitled to 1.35 seats, so has to lose around 25,000 voters to achieve the quota.

I have already transferred 12,000 voters in northern Powys to Gwynedd and Clwyd which means that a further 13,000 voters need to be transferred to the south.

I suggest that the former mining areas of the upper Neath & Tawe valleys in the south west of Powys (electorate 8,000) could be transferred into West Glamorgan, while around 6,000 voters in the Usk valley around Talgarth could be transferred to Gwent.

This would then leave a new 'mini' Powys seat.

Powys 99.9% (Powys - Machynlleth, north Montgomeryshire, upper Neath & Tawe, mid-Usk valleys)

Wales 30 Powys310

Last edited by penddu on Mon 14 Mar 2011 - 18:00; edited 1 time in total


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Wales 30 Empty DYFED

Post  penddu Mon 14 Mar 2011 - 13:41

Dyfed is entitled to 3.7 seats, so it is neccesary to cross into a neighbouring county, and in this case I have chosen to include a section of West Glamorgan.

Starting in the west, Pembrokeshire is too large for a single seat and so needs to lose around 15,000 voters. North Pembrokeshire has more in common with neighbouring Ceredigion than South Pembrokeshire does with neighbouring Carmarthenshire, so I have transferred the Preseli area out, leaving the remaining Penfro seat with the right size.

Even with the Preseli electorate, Ceredigion is still too small, so I have added a number of wards from Carmarthenshire along the Teifi valley to achieve the correct size, and called this new seat Teifi.

The remainder of Carmarthenshire is too large, but by removing the Llanelli area, then a new seat can be created which I call Myrddin.

The Llanelli area is too small on its own, and needs to find around 22,000 voters from West Glamorgan, so I have added these from the north of the current Gower constituency, which as it now straddles the Llwchwr estuary I have named it as Llwcwhr.

Penfro 99.5% (Pembrokshire - Preseli)
Teifi 100.9% (Ceredigion & Preseli & Teifi valley)
Myrddin 101.2% (Carmarthenshire - Llanelli - Teifi valley)
Llwchwr 99.4% (Llanelli & North Gower)

Wales 30 Dyfed310

Last edited by penddu on Sat 19 Mar 2011 - 8:56; edited 2 times in total


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Post  penddu Mon 14 Mar 2011 - 14:14

West Glamorgan is entitled to 3.8 seats, but as it has already lost part of the North Gower area to Dyfed, and gained part of south west Powys, it still needs a further 28,000 voters, so I propose to add the Porthcawl area from mid-Glamorgan, to achieve 4 seats.

After removing the areas north of Gowerton to the Lwchwr seat, the remainder of Swansea can be split fairly easily east-west with western Swansea and south Gower forming a Swansea Gower seat, while central Swansea and the lower Swansea valley can form a Swansae Tawe seat.

A new Nedd seat can be created from the former Neath seat plus the Upper Neath & Tawe valleys from Powys, and a few adjoing wards form Aberafan(Coedffranc) and Swansea (Clydach).

A new Afan seat can be formed from Port Talbot together with the Porthcawl and Corneli areas of mid-Glamorgan.

Swansea Gower 102.4% (Swansea west & south Gower)
Swansae Tawe 97.9% (Swansea central and lower valley)
Nedd 102.2% (Neath & south-west Powys)
Afan 99.9% (Port Talbot & Porthcawl)

Wales 30 Westgl10

Last edited by penddu on Fri 18 Mar 2011 - 8:21; edited 1 time in total


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Wales 30 Empty GWENT

Post  penddu Mon 14 Mar 2011 - 14:41

Gwent is entitled to 4.8 seats, and with the additionsl voters from south-east Powys, it would need a further 10,000 voters to be added from Mid-Glamorgan to achieve 6 corectly sized seats.

Monmouthshire is almost the right size, and with the addition of the Crickhowell area of Powys, it forms a new Usk seat.
Torfaen is also almost the right size, and with the addition of Caerleon from Newport it becomes a new Torfaen seat.
Newport is entitled to 1.4 seats, so as well as losing Caerleon, it needs to lose areas of western Newport (Rogesrstone, Marshfield, Tredegar Park) to achieve the correct size.
The areas lost from western Newport can then be added to most of the Islwyn area to form an East Gwent seat.
Blaenau Gwent is too small on its own, but with the addition of some northern parts of Islwyn and the Rhymney valley, it achieves the quota for a new North Gwent seat.
The remainder of Caerphilly is almost the right size, although it gains a few wards from mid-Glamorgan, and loses some wards in the north to form a new Caerffili seat. There is some scope to rationalise the boundaries further between North Gwent, East Gwent and Caerffili.

Wales 30 Gwent_11

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Post  penddu Mon 14 Mar 2011 - 14:41

South Glamorgan is entitled to 4.3 seats, so I propose to move the west of the Vale of Glamorgan to Mid-Glamorgan.

Cardiff itself can be easily divided failrly into three seats - North, West and East, but losing the more rural areas of Creigau, Radyr and Pentyrch to keep the three seats within the quota.

The eastern Vale including Barry and Penarth now forms a Bro Morgannwg seat.

Wales 30 Southg10

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Wales 30 Empty MID GLAMORGAN

Post  penddu Mon 14 Mar 2011 - 14:42

Mid-Glamorgan was the most difficult county to carve up because of the geographical barriers.

The easy part was Bridgend. Having lost the Porthcawl area to Afan, the remaining borough neatly fits the quota, to form a new Ogwr seat.

I have then created a new seat based on Llantrisant which contains the Ely valley to the north, the Western Vale of Glamorgan to the south, and the Beddau and Llantwit Fardre areas to the east.

The Rhondda valley and the town of Pontypridd form a new seat of Rhondda Taf, while Merthyr Tydfil is joined with the Cynon valley to form a Merthyr Cynon seat. The boundaries between these two seats and the neighbouring Caerffili and North Gwent seats could be optimised further, but geography limits the practical solutions.

Wales 30 Mid_gl10

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Wales 30 Empty Nett Result?

Post  penddu Fri 18 Mar 2011 - 8:57

So what might have happened if the 2010 election had been fought on the 30 seat boundaries?

It looks like Conserveatives would fall from 6 to 4 seats, Plaid from 3 to 2, LDs from 3 to 2, and Labour from 28 to 22 which looks reasonablly fair.

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Post  JD Sat 9 Apr 2011 - 13:10

Very interesting, Penddu.

Some comments:

Menai — this one has a certain inevitability about it: I can't see any realistic alternative. I predict that you're completely accurate on this one.
South Wrecsam — this one looks as if it's trying to annex Oswestry (which is an eminently sensible idea, but that's another matter); but practically, I don't much like the idea of a seat that crosses the Berwyn: although people make môr a mynydd out of geographic barriers, this one's held together by an unclassified narrow mountain road near Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog. It would be far nicer to stick the Bala area (aka Penllyn with a short "y") into the Wrecsam-Llangollen seat, and put more of Maldwyn or northern Ceredigion into the Gwynedd one.
Llantrisant — O Fro Morgannwg druan! Would it really look like a Tory gerrymander to keep the geological boundary between South and Mid Glamorgan and shove some of the estates in Cardiff east of the Rhymni back into Gwent instead? ;-)
Cardiff North — I know it looks odd on the map, but Penylan (20) is a much more Cardiff North sort of place than Cathays (5): it's essentially a southern extension of Cyncoed (7) in cultural and geographic terms (it's up on a spur of Caerffili Mountain, whilst the rest of Cardiff East plus Cathays is low-lying).


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