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Electoral boundary changes will result in more unrepresentative ballots

David Williamson condemns the LibDems for voting against the Conservatives' proposed boundary changes for parliamentary seats, on the grounds that, by giving most constituencies an equal number of voters, these changes would have made general elections more democratic (Letters, January 31).

This misses the fact that the proposed changes also included plans to reduce the number of MPs and so constituencies by 50 to 600. The effect of this would have been to make the already unrepresentative first-past-the-post election system throw away an even higher proportion of votes, as the fewer constituencies there are the fewer votes actually count towards electing an MP, with anyone not voting for the candidate with the most (often largest minority) of the vote in their constituency not having their vote count for anything at all.

The Conservatives were well aware of this and their boundary changes, like most governments', were not about increasing democracy but increasing their share of the seats in Parliament to maximise their chances of getting into power.

I don't have much time for Nick Clegg or Danny Alexander, but whatever their motives in this instance, it led to the less bad result for voters.

Duncan McFarlane,

Beanshields, Braidwood, Carluke.

Why is Labour a Unionist party? If Scots vote for independence, what will be left for Labour at the next UK election?

If constituency boundaries remain as they are there will be 590 seats left at Westminster. Labour will have to look at a future without its Scottish MPs. This is a grotesque twist on the famous West Lothian question.

This means it will have to win 296 seats for an outright majority. It currently has 255 – 214 if you discount the Scottish MPs (currently 41). You begin to understand why the Labour Party needs the Scots.

This is a gigantic swing if Labour is to succeed.

Is this a bridge too far for Messrs Miliband, Balls, etc, and could this be the reason why they have set their attack dog, Johann Lamont, off on a straw-grasping mission?

Does any Scot actually care if we need to apply for membership of an ailing organisation like the EU? We will have enough to consider if the Yes vote succeeds.

By a strange twist of fate, this logic has the opposite effect on a duty-bound Conservative party.

As they say in US politics – you do the math.

Jim Brown,

30 Third Avenue,

Kirkintilloch.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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