Boundary commission publishes final proposals

The Boundary Commission has published its final proposals for parliamentary boundaries in Northern Ireland.

It has reduced the number from 18 to 17, as part of a wider reform to reduce MPs from 650 to 600.

West Tyrone, Lagan Valley and Strangford will cease to exist and four new constituencies will be created - Sperrin, Causeway, Mid Antrim and Mid Down.

Eleven will retain their existing names, and Belfast will keep its four seats.

The final constituency map proposed by the Boundary Commission. Credit: Boundary Commission

Proposals to split a Co Londonderry town into three voting zones have been dropped.

The largely nationalist Dungiven will instead be transferred in its entirerty from Mid Ulster to the new Sperrin constituency.

Almost 10,000 petition signatures and letters were received by the organisation responsible for drawing up a new Northern Ireland constituencies map.

Final parliamentary boundaries were approved and published by the Government on Monday, largely as anticipated with only two changes, to Dungiven and the predominantly rural area of Mallusk on the outskirts of north Belfast.

On Dungiven, the Commission said: "We accept that this is an arguable point and acknowledge the weight of public support for it."

The Boundary Commission had to design new constituencies with populations as similarly-sized as possible.

Holywood in Co Down prompted objections to its transfer into the East Belfast seat as it could cut ties within the town itself, but the Commission said other options would raise significant new issues with neighbouring constituencies and rejected a change.

The Commission also ruled out a rethink in Mid Down, which had been suggested following concerns over local ties.

The final proposed constituencies are as follows:

  • Belfast East

  • Belfast North

  • Belfast South

  • Belfast West

  • Causeway

  • East Antrim

  • Fermanagh and South Tyrone

  • Foyle

  • Mid Antrim

  • Mid Down

  • Mid Ulster

  • Newry and Armagh

  • North Down

  • South Antrim

  • South Down

  • Sperrin

  • Upper Bann