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No Watford expansion in Boundary Commission constituency maps
Proposals to expand Watford’s parliamentary constituency to take in South Oxhey and Moor Park have been ditched.
New constituency maps released by the Boundary Commission today have undone large changes put forward in the first draft of Watford re-draw map released last year.
Any changes to the town’s constituency boundary could have a big impact on which MP is returned to the parliament at the next General Election as the area is a tight marginal.
At the last election, the current Conservative MP Richard Harrington ousted the three-term Labour incumbent Claire Ward with small majority of 1,425 over the second-place Liberal Democrats. However it is far from certain the redrawn constituencies will come in to force as the Liberal Democrat wing of the Coalition Government is threatening to vote them down after Conservative MPs torpedoed plans to reform the House of Lords.
The Conservatives are keen to see the boundary changes implemented, which will reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600, as they are thought to strengthen their chances of winning a majority 2015.
The Boundary Commission’s redrawing of the constituency maps is based on divvying up borough and district council ward areas.
Although not a perfect comparison, the voting patterns of the wards at recent council elections can give an indication of the areas’ political hue.
In the original plans released last year the Carpenders Park ward was moved out of Watford and into Hertsmere and the solidly Liberal Democrat wards of Abbots Langley, Leavesden and Langleybury into South West Hertfordshire.
The revised maps now shows Abbots Langley, Leavesden and Langleybury will stay in Watford but Carpenders Park is still moving into Hertsmere. Although Carpenders Park returned a Liberal Democrat candidate at the last local elections and then Conservative this year.
However it is seen as a strong Conservative area in the General Election.
Last year’s redrawn boundaries also showed the Three Rivers District Council Labour wards of Ashridge, Hayling and Northwick as well as the Liberal Democrat ward of Oxhey Hall and the staunchly Conservative Moor Park & Eastbury would be moved into Watford. These will now remain in the South West Hertfordshire constituency.
The revised plans show the safe Conservative constituency South West Hertfordshire, which covers from Rickmansworth up to Tring, will remain the same.
Apart for gaining Carpenders Park, the Hertsmere constituency - also a safe Conservative seat - will remain unchanged and Kings Langley will remain in the Hemel Hempstead Constituency.
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