New boundaries threat to MP Jo Swinson

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EAST Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson could lose out at the next Westminster General Election - if plans to re-draw constituencies get the nod.

Political analysts believe she may fail to hang onto her majority in a new seat, created in the wake of proposals by the Boundaries Commission.

The number of MPs elected in Scotland will be reduced from 59 to 52 under the plan, which will also see the number elected to Westminster nationally slashed from 650 to 600.


To take account of this, the Commission has re-drawn most of the country’s constituencies.

If the plans, now up for discussion, go ahead, some voters in Bearsden North will find themselves in the West Dunbartonshire and Bearsden seat, while Kilsyth will be added to East Dunbartonshire, which contains Milngavie and Bearsden South.

Analysis carried out by the Financial Times (FT) predicts that on current voting trends, Ms Swinson would lose the new East Dunbartonshire seat to Labour, who would also keep the West Dunbartonshire seat - which is held, as it is currently configured, by Labour’s Gemma Doyle.

In Scotland, the changes could be disastrous for both the LibDems and the Tories, who are in coalition at Westminster and whose poll ratings have nose-dived north of the border since last year’s General Election.

FT analysts said: “Both coalition parties are likely to lose out, with the only Scottish Tory and three of the 11 current Scottish Liberal Democrat MPs likely to lose their seats as a result of the boundary changes.”

Ms Swinson said she wants people to let decision makers know what they think of the changes

She said: “The Boundary Commission for Scotland has now presented us with this initial proposal, and I’m keen to hear the views of local people on the potential change.


“I’d encourage people to have a look at the details at and submit their comments as part of the consultation process.”

The Stirling constituency - which takes in Strathblane, Drymen, Killearn, Balfron and Fintry - will be merged with Perth and Kinross to form a new Stirling and Crieff seat, it has been proposed.