Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies

The Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies was undertaken between 2000 and 2007 by the four boundary commissions for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for the UK Parliament. The changes for England, Wales and Northern Ireland took effect at the 2010 United Kingdom general election; that for Scotland took effect at the 2005 election. All of the recommendations were approved.

Review processEdit

The boundary commissions were required at the time by the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 to review constituencies in their part of the United Kingdom every eight to twelve years. The Commissions' recommendations from the review were based on the numbers of electors on the electoral register and ward boundaries at the start of the review in 2000.

In Scotland, the recommendations were submitted in November 2004, and approved in February 2005.[1] In Wales, the recommendations were submitted on 31 January 2005, and approved on 11 April 2006.[2] In England, the recommendations were submitted on 31 October 2006, and approved on 13 June 2007.[3] In Northern Ireland, the recommendations were submitted on 14 September 2007 and approved on 11 June 2008.[4]


The nominal results of the 2005 election on the new boundaries (note that Scotland remained the same from 2005).

These were the first major changes to UK Parliamentary constituencies since 1997.

As set out in the approval dates above, the Scottish changes were effective from the 2005 general election. The post-2010 shape of those for the rest of the UK can be viewed alongside those for Scotland of 2005 at United Kingdom Parliament constituencies.

A side effect of reviews is the number of seats won by each party may change (even if all voters repeated their votes at later elections).

The total number of Scottish seats dropped from 72 to 59, due to changes made by the Scotland Act 1998, applying the English electoral quota to Scotland. This had reduced total seats back down[a] from 659 to 646, pending the review of the rest of the UK. Only three seats remained unchanged: East Renfrewshire (formerly named Eastwood), and quota-immune Orkney and Shetland, and Na h-Eileanan an Iar (formerly named Western Isles).[5]

In Wales, the total seats remained 40, but entailed radical redrawing in Clwyd and in Gwynedd. Aberconwy, Arfon and Dwyfor Meirionnydd replaced Conwy, Caernarfon and Meirionnydd Nant Conwy respectively. Per 2006 statistics, Welsh seats have on average 16,000 fewer electors than those of England.

The Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland recommended minor changes to seats would take place in the east of the province.

In England, the seats recommended seldom straddle the largest council areas, i.e. counties (metropolitan or otherwise); however they may cross boundaries of unitary authorities. York was consolidated to have two seats, without electoral wards from North Yorkshire. The unitary authorities of Berkshire are represented in Westminster by many cross-authority seats.

The Boundary Commission for England made one extra seat each to serve ten non-metropolitan counties: Cornwall, Derbyshire, Devon, Essex, Hampshire, Lancashire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Wiltshire and one to serve the zone of the former county of Avon. This was offset by six seats' abolition in metropolitan counties Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Tyne and Wear, South Yorkshire, West Midlands and West Yorkshire.

Greater London was reviewed borough-by-borough – some were "paired". This means they see one or more straddling seats. This solution ensures that the sizes of the electorates are not too disparate, in other words, quite fairly apportioned to reflect the adult resident population. Two boroughs lost a seat and one area of central London gained a constituency.

The approved recommendations for the three countries saw a net increase of 4 seats from 646 to 650 (for the 2010 general election).

New and abolished constituenciesEdit

As a result of changes to the names of seats, it is not always easy to clearly identify newly created constituencies or those abolished during the review process. One way of considering this is to link each proposed seat with an existing seat which contributes the most voters to that new seat. Any proposed seat which cannot be linked to an existing seat is then considered to be a "new" constituency. Conversely, any existing seat which is not linked to a proposed seat is considered to have been abolished.

Accordingly, the following seats are regarded as new creations:

NB - the existing seat of Mid Norfolk is succeeded by Broadland (see below) and the reconfigured Mid Norfolk is therefore considered to be a new constituency.

The following English constituencies are regarded as having been abolished by the review process:

NB - the proposed constituency of Birmingham Selly Oak is preceded by the existing constituency of Birmingham Hall Green; and, in turn, the proposed constituency of Birmingham Hall Green is preceded by Birmingham Sparkbrook and Small Heath (see below).

Name changesEdit

In England, there was a total of 72 linked constituencies which involved a change of name. A majority of these involved significant changes resulting from the knock-on impact of new or abolished seats within review areas. However, some arose from the consultation process and involved only minor changes. The table below lists those constituencies with name changes, indicating the extent of the changes by reference to the proportion of the old constituency included in the new constituency, or the proportion of the new in the old, which ever is the lesser:

  • Minor - greater than 90%
  • Moderate - between 75% and 90%
  • Major - between 75% and 50%
  • Wholesale - less than 50%
County/authority Old seat New seat Extent of change
Barking and Dagenham/Havering Dagenham Dagenham and Rainham Major
Upminster Hornchurch and Upminster Major
Bath and North East Somerset Wansdyke North East Somerset Moderate
Brent/Camden Brent South Brent Central Wholesale
Hampstead and Highgate Hampstead and Kilburn Major
Bromley/Lewisham Lewisham West Lewisham West and Penge Major
Cornwall Falmouth and Camborne Camborne and Redruth Major
Truro and St Austell Truro and Falmouth Major
Derbyshire West Derbyshire Derbyshire Dales Major
Devon Teignbridge Newton Abbot Major
Ealing/Hammersmith Ealing, Acton and Shepherd's Bush Ealing Central and Acton Major
Essex Basildon South Basildon and East Thurrock Major
Billericay Basildon and Billericay Wholesale
Harwich Clacton Moderate
Maldon and East Chelmsford Maldon Major
North Essex Harwich and North Essex Major
Rayleigh Rayleigh and Wickford Major
West Chelmsford Chelmsford Moderate
Gloucestershire Cotswold The Cotswolds Minor
Greater Manchester Manchester, Blackley Blackley and Broughton Major
Salford Salford and Eccles Major
Worsley Worsley and Eccles South Major
Hammersmith and Fulham/

Kensington and Chelsea

Hammersmith and Fulham Hammersmith Major
Kensington and Chelsea Kensington Major
Hampshire/Southampton Romsey Romsey and Southampton North Moderate
Harrow/Hillingdon Ruislip-Northwood Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner Major
Uxbridge Uxbridge and South Ruislip Major
Herefordshire/Worcestershire Hereford Hereford and South Herefordshire Minor
Leominster North Herefordshire Moderate
Kensington and Chelsea/


Regent's Park and Kensington North Westminster North Major
Kent Gillingham Gillingham and Rainham Minor
Medway Rochester and Strood Moderate
Lambeth/Southwark North Southwark and Bermondsey Bermondsey and Old Southwark Minor
Lancashire/Blackpool Blackpool North and Fleetwood Blackpool North and Cleveleys Major
Lancaster and Wyre Lancaster and Fleetwood Major
Leicestershire Blaby South Leicestershire Minor
Merseyside Crosby Sefton Central Major
Knowsley South Knowsley Major
Liverpool, Garston Garston and Halewood Moderate
St Helens South St Helens South and Whiston Moderate
Milton Keynes North East Milton Keynes Milton Keynes North Moderate
Milton Keynes South West Milton Keynes South Moderate
Newham/Tower Hamlets Poplar and Canning Town Poplar and Limehouse Major
Norfolk Mid Norfolk Broadland Major
North Somerset Woodspring North Somerset Minor
North Yorkshire/York City of York York Central Moderate
Ryedale Thirsk and Malton Major
Selby Selby and Ainsty Moderate
Vale of York York Central Wholesale
Plymouth Plymouth Devonport Plymouth Moor View Moderate
Plymouth Sutton Plymouth Sutton and Devonport Moderate
Somerset Bridgwater Bridgwater and West Somerset Minor
Taunton Taunton Deane Minor
South Gloucestershire Northavon Thornbury and Yate Moderate
South Yorkshire Barnsley East and Mexborough Barnsley East Wholesale
Sheffield, Attercliffe Sheffield South East Minor
Sheffield, Brightside Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough Major
Sheffield, Hillsborough Penistone and Stocksbridge Major
Wentworth Wentworth and Deane Moderate
Tyne and Wear Gateshead East and Washington West Washington and Sunderland West Wholesale
Houghton and Washington East Houghton and Sunderland South Major
Newcastle upon Tyne East and Wallsend Newcastle upon Tyne East Major
Sunderland North Sunderland Central Major
Tyne Bridge Gateshead Wholesale
Warwickshire Rugby and Kenilworth Rugby Major
West Midlands Birmingham, Hall Green Birmingham, Selly Oak Wholesale
Birmingham, Sparkbrook and Small Heath Birmingham, Hall Green Wholesale
West Yorkshire Bradford North Bradford East Moderate
Elmet Elmet and Rothwell Moderate
Morley and Rothwell Morley and Outwood Major
Pontefract and Castleford Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford Moderate
Wiltshire Westbury South West Wiltshire Moderate

Other major changesEdit

In addition to the changes listed above, the following 45 constituencies were subject to major changes whilst retaining their names.

County/authority Constituency
Barking and Dagenham/Havering Barking
Brent/Camden Brent North
Bristol Bristol East
Bristol North West
Bristol West
Bromley/Lewisham Beckenham
Bromley and Chislehurst
Lewisham East
Cornwall North Cornwall
Derbyshire Derby North
Derby South
Devon East Devon
Tiverton and Honiton
Ealing Ealing, Southall
Essex Braintree
Saffron Walden
Greater Manchester Leigh
Hampshire East Hampshire
North East Hampshire
Harrow/Hillingdon Harrow West
Lambeth/Southwark Camberwell and Peckham
Lancashire Ribble Valley
Newham/Tower Hamlets West Ham
Norfolk South West Norfolk
Northamptonshire Daventry
Northampton South
South Gloucestershire Kingswood
South Yorkshire Barnsley Central
Doncaster North
Sheffield Central
Sheffield, Hallam
Tyne and Wear Newcastle upon Tyne Central
Warwickshire Stratford-on-Avon
West Midlands Birmingham, Hodge Hill
Birmingham, Ladywood
Birmingham, Northfield
Birmingham, Yardley
West Yorkshire Dewsbury
Leeds Central
Leeds East
Wiltshire Devizes
North Wiltshire

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Parliamentary Constituencies (Scotland) Order 2005",, The National Archives, SI 2005/250
  2. ^ "The Parliamentary Constituencies and Assembly Electoral Regions (Wales) Order 2006",, The National Archives, SI 2006/1041
  3. ^ "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 2007",, The National Archives, SI 2007/1681
  4. ^ "The Parliamentary Constituencies (Northern Ireland) Order 2008",, The National Archives, SI 2008/1486
  5. ^ Denver, David (14 April 2005). "Election set to test new limits". London: BBC News.


  1. ^ From 1922 to 1945 the number of seats was 615. It rose from 635 to 650 in 1983 and incrementally rose to 659 for the years 1997 to 2005.