Two Wight: MPs vote against boundary changes (updated)

News has just broken that the idea of having two MPs for the Isle of Wight has, this afternoon, been put on hold.

Just a short while ago this afternoon, the Conservative party lost the vote by 46 votes in the House of Commons to reform the boundary changes across the UK including the Isle of Wight.

The earliest that it can now happen is after the next election.

Readers will remember our report in August 2012, when Nick Clegg announced that Liberal Democrats would withdraw their support for the boundary reform.

Update 17.38: This just in from Isle of Wight MP, Andrew Turner, “This is not unexpected after the volte-face by the LibDems, but it means that plans to reduce the number of MPs will not now be in place for the next election.

“The move would have saved around £13.5m every year, but Nick Clegg MP, who originally enthusiastically supported the plans, decided to order his Lib Dem MPs to vote against them because he lost the vote on changing the House of Lords. That took very creative interpretation of the coalition agreement on his part – but it is in the nature of coalitions that there are differences of opinion and policy.

“However, locally our cross-party campaign against the Island having a cross-Solent seat is still a victory. When the changes do come in, and it is expected that they will be brought in before the election expected in 2020, the Island will have two MPs. We will go from being the largest constituency in the UK to being split into two of the smallest. We all worked together against the madness of a cross-Solent seat and were very well supported by the Island’s independent media. It was a great campaign – the results will just come a little later!”

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Tuesday, 29th January, 2013 5:24pm



Filed under: Government, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Politics, Top story, Unexpected

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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.


  1. prewitt parrot

    29.Jan.2013 6:42pm

    So does Andrew view this as a defeat for him? Given that when he fought his OneWight campaign he claimed it as a victory when it emerged that we would be having two MPs. Or has he once again changed the goalposts and the slope of the playing surface in a further desperate attempt to save face?

  2. I’m thoroughly confused by what he says – possibly he means that the operation was a success but the patient died…

    • Don Smith

      29.Jan.2013 8:35pm

      Our MP never wanted two MPs on the IoW.
      With a 10.000 majority who can blame him.

      Maybe UKIP and a good Independent can change things. I’m sick and tired of foreigners. Not prejudice; just that I am British.

      • You are already a foreigner whose forebears arrived in one of the waves of invaders and immigrants since the year dot, unless you are a Celt (and there is some suspicion about them!) :-))

      • I take it you haven’t ever made friends with anyone who’s a “foreigner” then, Don, (ie. most of the world’s pop). You couldn’t have written what you have, otherwise.

        Heaven help us if to be British is to write off anyone who isn’t. Come to think of it, we did leave a trail of massacres across the world in the 19th & 20th centuries, & look to be shaping up ‘nicely’ in the 21st, too.

      • 2 MP’s and the issue of boundaries isn’t linked.Turner has no business saying what he has. He should be in there demanding what is right. It looks as though we have to fight for our democratic rights all over again.

        • NOW NOW
          I thought a foreigner was someone who had came from the mainland?

          • my favorite

            “Patriotism… is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of his self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit.”

            Dons bordering on racism once again, no doubt to be followed by ” I heard it from a friend of mine” as usual

            His dislike for forigners doesn’t stop him cruising around their Islands on a regular basis

  3. William House

    29.Jan.2013 8:32pm

    You’re confused, how do you think Alan Wells, David Pugh, George Brown, Stuart Love, Steve Beynon, et al feel after their combined efforts over the last few months to oust and de-stabilise Andrew T and create waves and turbulance all round everything they touch?

    Even the budding Chris Whitehouse is now ‘smelling blood’ with the Newport one-way system decision today and this councils arrogance.

    Feeling it may be stormy weather ahead?

  4. steephilljack

    29.Jan.2013 10:29pm

    Predictable blame-throwing at the Other Party from our MP: “This is not unexpected after the volte-face by the LibDems, but it means that plans to reduce the number of MPs will not now be in place for the next election”.

    And we won’t have two MPs for the Island either, which is not a reduction. And it also means that we will not be allowed to elect members to the House of Lords, thanks to Tory policy on that one. How long can this denial of democracy go on ?!

    This all results from political party shenanigans where they try trade-offs first, then manoeuvre into bargaining positions and end up with a stand-off.
    Who loses out in all this ? You know who.

  5. Citizens of the Isle of Wight cannot allow the legislature to renege on a constitutional right. There should be no link with the current shenanigans between the ConDems. It will be a travesty of justice and anti-democratic if the status quo was to operate and two MP’s were not to emerge from the next General Election.This constituency has been merited with 2 MP’s due to its size and has nothing to do with suggestions due to proposed boundary changes. If the government is intent on turning a blind eye to the situation it will impinge on the total validity of the election outcome by disenfranchising many voters by disallowing representation.It has already been acknowledged that the Isle of Wight is entitled;it is the duty of parliament to uphold the constitutional right – and that is what remains – it is a constitutional right and if necessary should be upheld in a constitutional court and even the European Court of human rights if necessary.

    • wightywight

      30.Jan.2013 7:38am


      can you point me in the direction of the “constitutional right” please? That might be an interesting read….
      I’m amused and confused at times by this certain attitude of (correctly) regarding the Island as a geographical entity, the impact on things ‘overner’ that impact the Island, the completeness of the Island because of its unique situation of, well, amongst others things, being an Island, the stretch of water that affects all of us…it’s about as ‘autonomous’ and self defining as you might get….yet some people want to somehow *attach* it to the mainland by drawing imaginary (philosophically speaking) lines that adds part of the mainalnd to part of the Island.
      Let’s all sing from the same song
      Anyway, how long has this dreadful situation of only one MP been going on now…? (1832 if you want to know – so about 180 years!) Change it all immediately!!
      After all, it’s the conservatives that want to do this..and it won’t be for the benefit of others that they do..
      Ever wondered about the numbers on each electoral voting paper, the one with your name and address on it..? I have!


      • So, what do the numbers mean, WW? I’m in suspense here….

        • wightywight

          31.Jan.2013 9:14am


          I wondered that since there is a distinct number….and that same piece of paper has an address on it (or at least your name which attaches to an address….)that the paper is kept, not by *you* ….I wondered if someone decides it’s a good idea to see the voting pattern by geographical area….right down to street level, for example, to see how ‘boundary changes’ MIGHT impact overall votes in, or out of, an electoral Ward.
          All very easily done from the raw data….?
          If this were so, of course, there might even be a bigger worry….. but I won’t go into that!
          For the moment, it strikes me that far from being *anonymous* as a voter …your very decision is identifiable and *could* be traced back to you….if someone had the inclination. Certainly, at a broader level it is data that could be used for overall political gain (or loss)?
          I’m concerned…… no more than that.


          • Thats very interesting, WW, & come to think of it, why doesn’t it surprise me! I wonder whether obliteration of the numbers while in the votong booth would count as a ‘spoiled’ vote?….

          • As far as I know, the ballot paper with your vote does not have the vote’s electoral registration number and thus cannot be linked back to the voter’s address. Any ballot papers that contained an electoral number for any reason are void.

            The printed/impressed number on the ballot paper links back to its counterfoil so it can be checked as genuine by the Presiding Officer in that polling station. (Rather like a raffle ticket).

  6. Jake_Gully

    30.Jan.2013 11:38am

    Personally I’ve always thought one MP is sufficient for the Isle of Wight – Perhaps I’m wrong, but to be honest I feel there are sufficient bums on seats in the House of Commons and would prefer to save the tax payer additional expense.

    • wightywight

      1.Feb.2013 9:56am


      You may find that NOT to be the case:

      See here for more:,,-1051,00.html

      ….and specifically this…..

      “Votes can be traced by matching the numbered ballot paper to its similarly numbered counterfoil; the numbered counterfoil also bears the voter’s registration number from the electoral register which is hand-written by the Polling Clerk when the ballot paper is issued. As all the ballot papers for each candidate – including fringe candidates such as Sinn Fein, communists, fascists, nationalists, etc. – are bundled together, anyone having access to those documents can speedily trace the name and address of every voter for such candidates if they wish.”

      Beware… seems it IS relatively easy to do…. as I first though.


  7. Billy Builder

    30.Jan.2013 12:15pm

    Andrew Turner might well whinge about the LibDem’s not honouring there agreement to back the boundary reform process, but the Tories did not support the LibDem’s Lords reform and actively campaigned agains electorial reform for the Commons, dispite the agreement between Clegg and Cameran that the Tory Leadership wouldn’t.

    Rather than having two MP’s elected on beauty contest rules, we should change to a system whereby the most accetpable candidate wins. Andrew Turner was not elected by 53.3 percent of the IOW population.

    • Wighty;

      We haven’t even got a written constitution, but we are a “constitutional monarchy”. We can have a constitutional right though, whether or not it is documented and you have to establish it. The right to a number of MP’s goes back to the rotten boroughs.

      • Bit of a misleading headline. Two MPs is still going to happen, just not a soon as I would like, we have to wait until after the next election…maybe as the boundary reform helps Tory numbers thats not such a bad idea.

        Turner has a selectibe memory…he campaigned for one MP for the Island but quickly changed his tune to cover not haveing a shared MP with the mainland and now seems to support two MPs…talk about Volte Face

      • wightywight

        31.Jan.2013 9:26am



        If you go back, of course, to 1654 (from memory here..) there were between three and six representatives for the Island.
        From around 1832 (ish) there has been one MP.
        It’s served us well in spite of whatever political persuasion you hold…
        Splitting it up (again?) will take it from the largest per capita MP to around the smallest in the UK…
        You takes your choice…..
        You may find your *constitutional rights* however, somewhat left wanting in Law…
        Anyway, the Island is complete and replete…long may it be so…..


        • As far as I know, the ballot paper with your vote does not have the vote’s electoral registration number and thus cannot be linked back to the voter’s address. Any ballot papers that contained an electoral number for any reason are void.

          The printed/impressed number on the ballot paper links back to its counterfoil so it can be checked as genuine by the Presiding Officer in that polling station. (Rather like a raffle ticket).

  8. greenfiremouse

    30.Jan.2013 8:18pm

    Whether it’s one MP or two, there is a need for genuine boundary change within the Isle of Wight. Especially Newport is carved up in a totally odd way with boundaries putting opposite sides of roads into different wards and Carisbrooke taking a large triangle out of nearly the middle of Newport.
    As long as this is not properly addressed, there is no point in a discussing the merits or disadvantages of dividing the Island into two halves. Of course, a division would give the Island two Tory MPs with disproportionally small amounts of potential voters…

    • wightywight

      31.Jan.2013 9:30am


      don’t confuse local Wards with overall ‘constitutional’ boundaries…..
      Locally the Wards are important…Nationally they are somewhat irrelevant as the overall vote numbers elect…. wherever the boundary lines are drawn…
      Locally, it’s a whole different ballgame…


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