The Boundary Commissions

Redrawing the UK's map of Parliamentary constituencies

By David Rossiter, R.J. Johnston and Charles Pattie

The Boundary Commissions

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8038-8
  • Pages: 448
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £22.99
  • Published Date: March 2009
  • BIC Category: Society & social sciences / Politics & government, Society & social sciences / Political structure & processes, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / General, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Elections, Politics & government, Political structure & processes, Politics


Available in paperback for the first time, this work of original scholarship is the first to trace in full detail how the UK's system for defining parliamentary constituencies has evolved since the Great Reform Act of 1832 and how the eight redistrictings since then were undertaken.

Particular attention is paid to the five redistrictings that have been undertaken by the independent Boundary Commissions established in 1944, with a detailed study of all aspects of their work on the most recent review of all constituencies.

The book is both a standard reference work on redistribution in the UK and provides the only detailed insight into how that task is currently undertaken, based on a study of the relevant documents and interviews with over a hundred of those most closely involved. The book will be essential for all those interested in the British constitution, and administrators concerned with making the constitution successful, as well as politicians.


Foreword by David Butler
Part I: Redistribution in the United Kingdom
1. The theory of representation and the 'British compromise'
2. The evolution of the 'British compromise': 1832-1944
3. The current legislative framework
4. The reviews and their outcomes
Part II: The Boundary Commissions' fourth periodic reviews
5. Setting the agenda
6. The process of public consultation
7. From provisional to final recommendations
8. Electoral consquences
9. MPs and their seats


D.J. Rossiter is Research Fellow in the School of Geographical Sciences at the University of Bristol. R.J. Johnston is Professor in the School of Geographical Sciences at the University of Bristol. C.J. Pattie is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield

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