Tory ploy fears as shake-up could redraw political map of Fylde coast

How the new political map of the Fylde coast could look if MPs vote in favour

Plans to cut the number of MPs in England could see the political map on the Fylde coast completely redrawn.

Changes put forward by the Boundary Commission would effectively merge two existing seats, cutting the number of Parliamentary representatives on the Fylde from five to four.

A new Blackpool North and Fleetwood seat would be created from large chunks of the constituencies currently held by Paul Maynard and Cat Smith.

Gordon Marsden’s Blackpool South seat would be extended to include part of North Shore and Mark Menzies’ Fylde constituency would stretch to cover some of Poulton.

Meanwhile, the Wyre and Preston North seat held by Ben Wallace would disappear and a vast new North Lancashire constituency would encompass a large area of Over Wyre, reaching almost as far as Kirby Lonsdale in the north and Barnoldswick to the east.

The Boundary Commission report said the electorates in the existing Fylde constituencies were “particularly low”, while the changes would see each meet the new legal requirement for between 71,031 and 78,507 voters per MP.

Mr Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, said he was aware of the proposals but did not comment on the potential implications for his constituency.

Meanwhile, Ms Smith, whose Lancaster and Fleetwood seat would be split to create two new constituencies, called the plans “ludicrous”.

She said: “These final boundary recommendations are nothing but an undemocratic power grab by this Tory Government.”

A study of the proposals found the Conservatives would have won the 2015 general election with a majority of 16 seats had they been in place at the time.

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