Flashcards in Electoral Geography Deck (20):
What is gerrymandering?
manipulation of electoral boundaries for partisan advantage
Where does gerrymandering happen a lot?
- example- 3rd Congressional district, Maryland
- get away with it because both parties do it and boundaries change frequently
- Voting Rights Acts 1965 used as an excuse
How is party politics linked to territory?
- Areas linked to Labour or Conservative
- I.e Inner London is a Labour area
- However, often overexaggerated- i.e South is Tory and North is Labour
How are some areas better represented than others?
- Different amount of people per MP
- Isle of Wight - 110,000 people and 1 MP
- Western Isles- 22,000 people and 1 MP
Conservative Party "reduce and equalise" policy?
- Since 2003 Conservative policy has been:
- Reduce the number of MPs to 600
- Require constituencies to be equal in terms of the number of voters
Lib Dems action on the reduce and equalise policy?
- LD blocked it in 2005
How did David Cameron justify the reduce and equalise policy?
"Cut the cost of politics"
- Reduction of 65 MPs would save £15.5million
How many people will be in each constituency?
- Between 72,810 and 80,473
What percentage of constituencies will see changes?
- 70% will see significant changes
How many MPs will there be?
(down from 650)
How will constituencies see changes?
- Large constituency disappearing into other constituencies- i.e. Ilford South
- New constitiency being created - i.e. Beverley
How many constituencies will be unrecognisable?
What are the three ways to analyse the Conservatives' plans?
- Equality (number of politicians)
- Localism (Regional and community cohesion)
- Corruption (Partisan advantage)
Argument that there are too many MPs in Parliament?
- Very big compared to the rest of the democratic world- both in absolute and per capita terms
- Other countries do it will fewer MPs- we're wasting money
Argument that there aren't too many MPs?
- We may have more MPs but we have fewer local government representatives
- Is 50 maybe too many to get rid of
- Don't want to overwork MPs- quality work
What are the issues with the new constituencies? (x7)
- Crossings of major local authority borders
- Geographically large constituencies in rural areas
- Odd-shaped constituencies because of ‘edge effects’
- Some constituencies effectively ‘squeezed’ out of existence
- Occasional linking of wards to ‘make up the size
- Will constituencies have to keep changing to keep up with population changes- registration issues and less identification with the constituency- less likely to vote?
- Will there be knock on changes on Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly constituencies
What an example of a strange new constituency?
- Mersey Banks
- Two wards with Halton merged with two Cheshire wards
- Loss of community
- How is one MP supposed to represent such different areas
Argument that the plans will lead to advantage for the Conservatives?
- More Labour seats extremely impacted by the changes
Argument that the plans will not lead to advantage for the Conservatives?
- Current system is biased towards Labour- in 1997 Labour needed 32,300 for a seat while Conservatives needed 58,100, Labour do better in urban areas where constituencies tend to be smaller
- The new design was done by a non-partisan committee