Number of Welsh MPs to be cut from 40 to 32 under new proposed electoral map

The new constituencies would come into force in time for the next UK General Election which is due to be held in 2024, although it could take place before then. Credit: PA

A new electoral map is being published today which would reduce the number of Welsh Members of the UK Parliament from 40 to 32.

New Westminster constituency boundaries have been drawn up for every part of Wales apart from Ynys Môn which is exempt from the changes because it is an island constituency.

Voters now have four weeks to comment on the revised proposals.

The new constituencies would come into force in time for the next UK General Election which is due to be held in 2024, although it could take place before then.

The map would also be used as the basis for new Senedd regions under separate proposals to change the Welsh Parliament is elected.

The Boundary Commission for Wales was required to ensure each Westminster constituency, apart from Ynys Môn, has an electorate of between 69,724 and 77,062 eligible voters.

It has no power over the number of MPs which was decided in a vote by the UK Parliament. It also hasn’t factored in what effect the changes would have on any political party’s performance

The Commission took into account responses to its original proposals published in 2021 as well as natural, geographical and local authority boundaries in each area.

It says it’s altered its original plans significantly since September 2021, changing 22 geographical areas and 9 constituency names.

Electoral map shows the existing constituency boundaries (left) versus the proposed changes to constituency boundaries (right). Credit: Boundary Commission

Announcing the new version of the proposed boundaries, the Boundary Commission for Wales’ Secretary, Shereen Williams said: “I’m delighted to be publishing these proposals today.

“When the Commission published the Initial Proposals in September 2021, we asked for the public’s help in strengthening the new map of Welsh constituencies.

“Thanks to the record number of responses we’ve received, we have made changes, in some cases significant changes, to those initial proposals.

“There is now one more opportunity to affect the new map of Welsh constituencies, during our final 4-week consultation period.

“I would urge everyone, regardless of your views on the proposals, to let the Commission know.”

You can see details of all of the new boundaries and express your views here:

The proposed new constituencies are:

  • Aberafan Porthcawl

  • Alyn and Deeside (Alun a Glannau Dyfrdwy)

  • Bangor Aberconwy

  • Blaenau Gwent and Rhymney (Blaenau Gwent a Rhymni)

  • Brecon, Radnor and Cwm-tawe (Aberhonddu, Maesyfed a Chwm-tawe)

  • Bridgend (Pen-y-bont)

  • Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

  • Caerphilly (Caerffili)

  • Cardiff East (Dwyrain Caerdydd)

  • Cardiff North (Gogledd Caerdydd)

  • Cardiff South and Penarth (De Caerdydd a Phenarth)

  • Cardiff West (Gorllewin Caerdydd)

  • Ceredigion Preseli

  • Clwyd East (Dwyrain Clwyd)

  • Clwyd North (Gogledd Clwyd)

  • Dwyfor Meirionnydd

  • Gower and Swansea West (Gŵyr a Gorllewin Abertawe)

  • Llanelli

  • Merthyr Tydfil and Upper Cynon (Merthyr Tudful a Chynon Uchaf)

  • Mid and South Pembrokeshire (Canol a De Sir Benfro)

  • Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)

  • Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr (Maldwyn a Glyndŵr)

  • Neath and Swansea East (Castell-nedd a Dwyrain Abertawe)

  • Newport East (Dwyrain Casnewydd)

  • Newport West and Islwyn (Gorllewin Casnewydd ac Islwyn)

  • Pontypridd

  • Rhondda

  • Swansea Central and North (Canol a Gogledd Abertawe)

  • Torfaen

  • Vale of Glamorgan (Bro Morgannwg)

  • Wrexham (Wrecsam)

  • Ynys Môn

Political parties have been poring over the proposals to work out what they might mean for them.

A Plaid Cymru spokesperson said: “It is unacceptable that Wales is in a situation where our democratic voice is being unceremoniously slashed by 20% in the first place. We are nevertheless confident that we will be able to beat the Tories and return more Plaid Cymru MPs under these proposed boundaries."

The spokesperson went on to say, “The decision by Westminster to reduce the number of constituencies so drastically has made this a difficult process for the Boundary Commission, and we thank them for their work. Lumping post-industrial communities like Cwm Tawe with rural areas like Brecon and Radnor makes no sense, and highlights the absurdity of the scale of the changes imposed by Westminster.”

The Chairman of the Welsh Conservatives, former MP, Glyn Davies wrote on his Facebook page that while these proposals won't be finalised until next July, "we don’t expect much significant change before the new arrangements are signed off by the Speaker of the House of Commons next year."The changes will happen in time for the next General Election, probably in the following year. The Welsh Conservative Party will move as quickly as we can to adopt candidates to contest these new constituencies at the next election."Inevitably such change will lead to great uncertainty amongst sitting MPs of all political parties in Wales. While the reduction in number of MPs will cause stress and disappointment to some Welsh MPs, I hope the hopes and ambitions of most will be accommodated."

A Welsh Labour spokesperson said: "As we have made clear, we regret that Wales will lose 8 seats in the review.“Since the beginning of the process Welsh Labour has worked constructively with the Boundary Commission for Wales to ensure that the review can go ahead, it was a difficult task for the Commission and we thank them for the work that has been done.“Having had the opportunity to see the proposals we will be making further representations. Our focus will continue to be ensuring that all members across Wales are ready to win the next General election and to make Keir Starmer our next Labour Prime Minister".

A spokesperson for the Welsh Liberal Democrats said: “Such large changes to the electoral map of Wales will invariably lead to challenges for all political parties, but they also provide the Welsh Liberal Democrats with some exciting opportunities.

“With the number of Welsh MPs now being reduced from 40 to 32, it is even more vital that proposed reforms to the Senedd go ahead and we will continue to push for more powers to be devolved to our Welsh Parliament to ensure that a reduction in our voice at Westminster does not lead to a reduction in focus on the issues important to the Welsh electorate.”