Boundary Review Committee 2010-13
Remit and Work
At its sitting in July 2010 Tynwald agreed that
'pursuant to Section 11 (5) of the Representation of the People Act 1995 Tynwald requests the Governor in Council to recommend the appointment of a Boundary Review Committee to review the number and boundaries of the constituencies for election to the House of Keys and to report thereon to Tynwald.'
The Governor in Council approved the appointment to the Boundary Review Committee of:
- Sally Bolton, Chairman
- Terry Groves
- Ashton Lewis
- Bob Riding
The Committee wished to note that although the previous Boundary Review Committee had been dissolved at the request of Tynwald until after the outcome of the Constitution Bill 2007 was known, the remit of this Committee did not include any reference to the Constitution Bill.
Population changes over the years have contributed to a change in the number of voters in electoral constituencies in the Isle of Man.
In their first Consultation from 17 January 2011 to 31 March 2011 the Committee invited representations from members of the public, in particular comments or views on the following:
- existing boundaries;
- possible changes to existing boundaries;
- size of constituencies;
- number of members per constituency;
- number of voters per elected member;
- whether population should be the sole guide to constituency size;
- any other issues relevant to the Terms of Reference of the Tynwald Resolution as stated in the opening paragraph.
Rather than make abstract recommendations, the Boundary Review Committee decided to seek Tynwald’s guidance and approval at each step of its deliberations.
First Interim Report
The Committee submitted its First Interim Report to Tynwald in December 2011 and amongst other things Tynwald agreed to the principle that each constituency should return an equal number of Members to Tynwald, that constituencies should be of an equivalent size bearing in mind community considerations and that no constituency should exceed 15% above or below the average population figure.
Second Interim Report
After further consultation with the public between January and June 2012 and having invited submissions from interested persons, the Committee made a further recommendation to Tynwald in its Second Interim Report that there should be 12 constituencies each returning 2 members each. This recommendation was approved in October 2012 and the Committee was directed to complete its Report by defining and delineating the boundaries of the constituencies.
Third and final Report
The June 2013 sitting of Tynwald supported a motion to redraw the Island’s political map and end decades of inequality amongst voters in elections to the House of Keys.
Members agreed a new structure of 12 equal constituencies – each represented by 2 MHKs and with an average population of around 7,000 – to replace the traditional mixture of three, two and one seat constituencies which has long been criticised as unfair and undemocratic.
The new constituencies identified in the Third Report are in line with previous Tynwald resolutions that there should be equality of representation, that the 24 House of Keys seats should be divided into 12 constituencies with 2 members each and that the population size of constituencies should not vary from the average by more than 15%.
The Third Report was received by Tynwald and the following recommendations approved:
- That Tynwald approves the constituency boundaries as set out in the report
- That the Representation of the People Act 1995 and other relevant legislation be amended accordingly in time for the 2016 General Election.
All of the Reports of the Boundary Review Committee (including the 12 new constituency maps) are available here to download, as is the Hansard report of the Tynwald debate.
Seeking of Views on Constituency Names
Following the work of the Boundary Review Committee further views were sought by the Chief Secretary’s Office on the House of Keys Constituency names prior to the drafting of legislation to bring them into effect. The seeking of views took place from 6 September to 7 October 2013. The summary of responses is available in the downloadable documents at the side of this page.