New proposals announced by the government this week could reduce the number of Cumbrian MP’s seats in Westminster. Five MPs in Cumbria would represent the county as opposed to six now and the new boundaries will cross council areas.
The proposals are for a total of 50 seats being lost, seven from the North West, two from the East, two from the East Midlands, five from London, three from the North East, one from the South East, two from the South West, five from the West Midlands, and four from Yorkshire and the Humber. In addition Wales is to lose 10, Scotland seven and Northern Ireland two.
Proposals from the independent Boundary Commission suggest today’s parliamentary constituencies of Barrow, Carlisle, Copeland, Workington, Penrith and the Border, and Westmorland and Lonsdale are replaced by Barrow, Copeland and Windermere, Carlisle, Kendal and Penrith, and Workington and Keswick.
Initial analysis shows the most affected areas would be Penrith and the Border and Westmorland and Lonsdale. Those constituencies would be totally split in the cull to reduce the number of MPs in Westminster from 650 to 600.
The new Barrow seat would see the least change by taking in less than 10 per cent of Westmorland and Lonsdale. Carlisle would remain largely as it is, taking in some of Penrith and the Border.
The biggest change by far in Cumbria looks set to be the creation of a Kendal and Penrith seat which would be made up of 53 per cent of the current Westmorland and Lonsdale constituents, with 47 per cent of Penrith and the Border.
It could see Penrith MP Rory Stewart and South Lakes MP Tim Farron competing head to head to win the new seat!