Proposals to change the parliamentary boundaries for Brighton and Hove have been published.
The city will still be served by three MPs but the seats will each contain more voters as the Conservative and Liberal Democrat government aims to reduce the number of MPs nationally.
The area covered by the three seats will also extend further into the area served by Lewes District Council.
The new seats will be called
- Brighton and Hove North
- Brighton Pavilion and Hove
- Lewes and Brighton East
The Brighton Pavilion and Hove seat includes council wards that are at the moment almost exclusively represented by Greens.
The Lewes and Brighton East seat will pitch Lib Dem Norman Baker against Conservative Simon Kirby if both decide to stand again, with the current odds appearing to favour the Tories.
And the Brighton and Hove North seat looks most promising from the Conservatives’ point of view although Labour and the Greens could both be keen challengers.
The wards included in Brighton and Hove North are
- Hangleton and Knoll
- Hollingdean and Stanmer
- Hove Park
- North Portslade
- South Portslade
The wards included in Brighton Pavilion and Hove are
- Brunswick and Adelaide
- Central Hove
- Hanover and Elm Grove
- Preston Park
- Queen’s Park
- St Peter’s and North Laine
The wards included in Lewes and Brighton East are
(in Brighton and Hove)
- East Brighton
- Moulsecoomb and Bevendean
- Rottingdean Coastal
(in the Lewes district)
- East Chiltington, Streat, and St John Without
- East Saltdean and Telscombe Cliffs
- Lewes Bridge
- Lewes Castle
- Lewes Priory
- Peacehaven East
- Peacehaven North
- Peacehaven West
Norman Baker, the Lib Dem MP for the present Lewes constituency and a Junior Transport Minister, said: “My Lib Dem colleagues and I are studying the report carefully and it would be premature to comment on it at this time.”
Simon Kirby, the Conservative MP for the present Brighton Kemptown constituency, said: “I welcome the proposals which will reduce the cost of Parliament.
“It will also mean that all constituencies up and down the country are the same size which must be fairer.
“Lewes is a great area which I know well. It has strong links with Brighton.
“The Brighton Kemptown constituency currently includes part of Lewes district so I can see the Boundary Commission’s logic.
Mike Weatherley, the Conservative MP for the present Hove constituency, said: “It goes without saying that we will be fighting every area to win including the new Pavilion seat and whatever the Hove seat becomes.
“It’s easy to overanalyse these things and our intention is to give every area within the city our best shot.
“Having fought Pavilion in 2005 though, I personally know Withdean, Patcham and Hollingdean and Stanmer well already and I relish the opportunity to stand for election in these areas.”
Luke Walter, the Green Party’s election co-ordinator in Brighton and Hove, said: “The Boundary Commission report is merely the start of a process of reviewing constituencies, and like all the parties, the Greens will be examining the proposals in more detail as the review proceeds.
“We don’t support a reduction in the number of seats overall and are concerned about increasing the ratio of constituents to MPs as we believe it will lead to weaker democratic representation for voters.
“With regards to the potential impact in Brighton and Hove, there will be more Green wards under the new boundary proposal for the proposed constituency of Brighton Pavilion and Hove than there are under the existing one.
“Moreover, the Greens have shown time and time again that we have a strong support base across Brighton and Hove.
“So we are confident that we’ll continue to gain the backing of the electorate in the city and will be able to work effectively within the new boundaries.”
The report containing the proposals can be read here.