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Boundary Review (Constituencies)

Volume 512: debated on Tuesday 22 June 2010

1. What discussions the Electoral Commission has had with Ministers on timing of the next parliamentary boundary review. (3387)

The Electoral Commission has no statutory responsibilities in relation to parliamentary constituency boundaries, which are the responsibility of the four boundary commissions for the United Kingdom. The Electoral Commission has therefore had no discussions with Ministers about the timing of the next parliamentary boundary review.

Will the hon. Gentleman make sure that the Electoral Commission makes representations to boundary commissioners and, indeed, to Ministers to ensure that before any boundary review takes place, registration in constituencies rises and that activity is under way to increase it so that the 3.5 million people who are missing are put back on the register, and that any future boundaries truly reflect those who live within constituency boundaries?

I will obviously pass on the right hon. Gentleman’s comments to the Electoral Commission but, as I said, it has no responsibility for the boundary review. It is, however, concerned about low voter registration, and it estimates that between 8% and 9% of the eligible population in England and Wales is not registered. It is working with electoral registration officers and others to try to improve the position.