Tories plot to win 100-seat majority at the next election with boundary shake-up

PUBLISHED: 10:23 23 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:23 23 December 2019

Conservative Party campaign advert which features Boris Johnson emulating a scene from the 2003 Christmas film Love Actually. Photograph: PA.

Conservative Party campaign advert which features Boris Johnson emulating a scene from the 2003 Christmas film Love Actually. Photograph: PA.

The Tories are already plotting another landslide win at the next election by shaking up boundaries to win a 100-seat majority.

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Boris Johnson secured an unexpected 80-seat majority at the general election after his message of delivering Brexit cut through with voters in Labour's traditional heartlands in the North and Midlands.

Such a scale of Tory victory has not been seen since the days of Margaret Thatcher and now, according to the Sunday Telegraph, senior party figures are pushing the prime minister to implement changes that could lay the ground for him to outstrip the December 12 result next time round.

Proposals were finalised last year by the Boundary Commission to redraw the UK's electoral map and cut the number of MP seats down from 650 to 600.

The suggestions, which involved attempting to ensure each constituency had an electorate of roughly 75,000, have never been voted on by MPs due to a lack of consensus on the changes.

According to Electoral Calculus, if the new-look constituencies had been contested at this month's winter poll, Johnson would have won a 104-seat majority.

In a letter signed by former Tory leader Iain Duncan-Smith, ex-de facto deputy prime minister Damian Green and two former party chairmen, Liam Fox and Lord Pickles, Johnson has been urged to put the changes into motion "immediately".

"Whether the existing proposals are used, or new ones are produced, it is essential for the health and credibility of Britain's democracy that the current unfairly-skewed system is put right, and equal-sized constituencies where everyone's vote weighs the same are created immediately," said the senior figures, in a letter organised by former constitution minister John Penrose.

But another former Tory stalwart, Ken Clarke, said he was not sure Johnson had a plan for his current stint in government, never mind plotting for the next.

Clarke, the ex-chancellor who was sacked as a Tory MP by the prime minister after rebelling on Brexit, said it appeared to him that Downing Street was following Dominic Cummings's agenda rather than the cabinet's.

The former Rushcliffe MP told Pienaar's Politics on BBC Radio 5 Live that running the country was more than about repeating campaign slogans, and blasted the lack of action on social care, which he deemed the "biggest single domestic problem facing us".

"The governing of the country is more than going round saying, 'Oooh, 2020 is going to be a golden year, we are going to be a global Britain'," Mr Clarke said.

And Clarke said the proposals being discussed looked more like ideas from the mind of Cummings than the prime minister.

He added: "Boris could still surprise everybody. But at the moment, when I read the newspapers, Dominic Cummings seems to be briefing the newspapers on his own personal agenda and says the government is going to reorganise departments, tackle Ministry of Defence procurement - well, I agree with that, that needs tackling - and so on.

"I don't get the impression that politicians are in charge, together with someone who knows something about governing."

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