Plans for an overhaul of Parliamentary constituencies before the 2015 General Election have been abandoned following a vote at Westminster last week. Under proposals brought forward by the Boundaries Commission, Kingswood and Keynsham would have been combined into one constituency while the North East Somerset (which currently includes Keynsham) would have reached further south into the Mendips. The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act formed part of the Coalition Agreement drawn up between the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties after the 2010. In addition to the referendum on an alternative voting system (which took place in 2011) the bill also included plans for reform to the House of Lords and a redrawing of constituency boundaries to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600.
Last August, Conservative back bench MPs effectively scuppered the Lib Dem lead proposals for an elected House of Lords and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg threatened to withdraw his party’s support for constituency reform as a result. Last week, an opposition amendment to the Electoral Registration and Administration Bill, postponing the boundary changes to 2018 was carried after Liberal Democrat MPs voted with Labour (and 4 Conservative rebels).