Northern Ireland news

Number of Westminster constituencies in the north to remain at 18

The final recommendations of the independent review must be handed to the Speaker of the House of Commons by July 2023
Michael McHugh, PA

The number of Westminster constituencies in Northern Ireland is to remain at 18, independent reviewers have said.

Boundaries for the seats will be amended ahead of a general election expected by May 2024.

Official statisticians have published data on electoral registrations to be used during the review.

The electoral quota has been set at 73,392 to take account of population changes.

It is an average designed to keep the size of the electorate in each seat proportionate across the UK.

In most of the UK the number registered to vote in each constituency will have to be within 5 per cent of the quota.

In Northern Ireland the legislation allows for a wider range, in certain circumstances, from 68,313 to 77,062.

The final recommendations of the independent review must be handed to the Speaker of the House of Commons by July 2023.

The 2023 Review is expected to start early this year.

The number of Commons seats is fixed at 650.

The allocation of seats between each of the parts of the UK is calculated based on the proportion of the UK registered electorate in each country.

The Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland is responsible for reviewing the country's parliamentary constituency boundaries.

It confirmed that, although the number of constituencies in Northern Ireland will remain at 18, the boundaries of existing constituencies will have to be amended due to legislation.

It added: "The Commission will shortly begin its work on developing initial proposals.

"These will be published for public consultation in the latter part of 2021.

"This will be the first of a number of public consultations as set out in legislation, which will also include public hearings."

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