Frequently Asked Questions

2023 Review

2023 Review FAQs 

Why are you conducting a review of Parliamentary constituencies? 

We are responsible for reviewing Parliamentary constituency boundaries in Wales on the basis of rules laid down by Parliament. We are currently required to submit a formal report by 1 July 2023 on the basis of rules set out in the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 (as amended by the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 2020). 

Why the reduction in the number of Members of Parliament representing Wales? 

The Act states that there is to be a fixed number of 650 constituencies for the whole of the UK.  The Act also provides a mathematical formula to determine how many constituencies should be allocated to each of the four parts of the UK (Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland). 

In accordance with that formula, the number of constituencies allocated to Wales under the Act is 32. Welsh constituencies must be wholly within Wales, and cannot include areas of another part of the UK. 

How did the average constituency figure arise? What criteria did you use? 

The Act sets out the rules for the Commission to follow in conducting a review of Parliamentary constituency boundaries. The Commission did not make these decisions themselves. The figure for the number of constituencies in Wales was arrived at by the application of a formula prescribed in the legislation. See our Guide to the 2023 Review for more detail.  

Why is Ynys Môn an exception to the electoral quota? 

There are five exemptions from 'Rule 2' of The Act, which sets the parameters for constituency sizes across the UK. These are two constituencies on the Isle of Wight in England, Orkney and Shetland and Na h-Eileanan an Iar in Scotland, and the Isle of Anglesey in Wales.  

What is the Commission / what is the Commission's function? 

The Boundary Commission for Wales is an independent and impartial non-departmental public body which is responsible for conducting reviews of Parliamentary constituency boundaries in Wales and making recommendations to Parliament for changes. 

Who are the Commissioners?  

The Commissioners were selected through open public competition. 

  • Deputy Chair: Mrs Justice Jefford DBE  

  • Commission Members: Mr Huw Vaughan Thomas CBE and Mr Sam A Hartley 

The Deputy Chair, who presides over the Commission's meetings, is a judge of the High Court appointed by the Lord Chancellor. The two other members are appointed jointly by The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office. 

How will Parliamentary constituencies be updated to reflect changing numbers of electors in different areas? 

For its 2023 Review the Commission was required to consider the number of registered electors on the 02 March 2020.  

Why have you used electoral register data and not population data? Is the number of registered electors reliable? 

The Commission is required, by the Act, to work on the basis of the number of the electors on the electoral registers at the 'review date'. 

The Commission does not own or collate electoral registers - they are the responsibility of local authorities. The Act requires the Commission to use the figures published by the ONS and, therefore, the Commission is unable to take account of any alleged under-registration or over-registration of electors that may be claimed in some areas. 

When will you publish your initial proposals? 

The Commission will publish its initial proposals in September this year. 

What criteria will you apply? 

(As per the Act) a Commission may take into account: 

  • special geographical considerations, including in particular the size, shape and accessibility of a constituency; 

  • local government boundaries which existed or were prospective on 1 December 2020; 

  • boundaries of existing constituencies; 

  • any local ties that would be broken by changes in constituencies; and 

  • the inconveniences attendant on such changes. 

As far as possible, the Commission seeks to create constituencies in Wales: 

  • From electoral wards that are adjacent to each other; and 

  • That do not contain 'detached parts', i.e. where the only physical connection between one part of the constituency and the remainder would require passage through a different constituency. 

How do proposals relate to the Welsh Parliament constituencies? 

The Proposals are only applicable to the Westminster Parliamentary constituencies. The PVSC Act 2011 dissolved the link between the two sets of constituencies. Any proposal to create a mechanism to review Welsh Parliament constituencies is a devolved responsibility of the Welsh Parliament. A report was published in September 2020 by the Committee on Senedd Electoral Reform please follow the link to the report Senedd reform: the next steps

How do the Proposals relate to the Local Government activity? 

The Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales (LDBCW) is a separate entity to the Commission. There is no correlation between the 2023 Review and the work programme of the LDBCW. 

Will the changes affect my postcode? 

No. The constituency you reside in has no impact on post codes or their allocation. 

Will this affect my council tax? 

No. The constituency you reside in has no impact on council tax or its allocation. Council tax is set by the relevant local authority.  

Will this affect my school catchment area? 

No. The constituency you reside in has no impact on school catchment areas. Catchment areas are determined by local authorities or individual schools. 

Will this affect my local authority? 

No. The constituency you reside in has no impact on the design of local authorities in Wales, or their boundaries. In fact, the boundaries of existing local authorities are a factor the Commission uses in the design of constituencies, where possible. 

Will this affect my community/town council? 

No. The constituency you reside in has no impact on the design of community or town councils in Wales, or their boundaries. In fact, it is the Commission’s policy is not to split any community or town councils as part of this review. 

Will this affect my house value? 

No. The value of your property is determined by a plethora of factors. There is no evidence that the constituency you reside in has an impact on the value of your property. 

Will this affect my health service provision? 

No. The constituency you reside in has no impact on health service provision or services. 

Will this affect my community amenities? 

No. The constituency you reside in has no impact on your community amenities.