Consultation area FAQs

We review UK Parliament constituencies every 5 years. The current 2018 Review of UK Parliament constituencies began in 2016 and will end in 2018. We expect that the constituencies will be used for the next General Election in 2020.
The process that we follow is largely defined by the law: the legislation governing our work is the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 and a summary can be viewed on our website http://www.bcomm-scotland.independent.gov.uk/legislation/. The process can be summarised as:
• we develop our Initial Proposals;
• we publish those proposals for 12 weeks of public consultation;
• we hold public hearings during the consultation period;
• we publish consultation responses online for public comment for a 4 week period;
• we consider all responses and comments received during the consultation period, and produce Revised Proposals as necessary;
• we publish any Revised Proposals for 8 weeks of public consultation;
• we consider any further responses made and amend our recommendations as necessary; and
• we submit our report to the Secretary of State for Scotland.
As part of a review we produce a booklet explaining the process and the policies within which we work, which is available to download here or a hard copy can be supplied on request.
Public hearings are an important part of the consultation process on our proposals. We hold between 2 and 5 public hearings around Scotland between weeks 5 and 10 of the consultation on Initial Proposals. Each hearing can last for up to 2 days, and provides an opportunity for anyone to make their views known on our proposals. Details of the public hearings planned for the 2018 Review are available on our website http://www.bcomm-scotland.independent.gov.uk/2018_westminster/initial_proposals/public_hearings/
The electorate of each constituency, with a few specified exceptions, has to be within 5% of the average electorate of a mainland constituency in the United Kingdom. For this review, a constituency must have between 71,031 and 78,507 electors. The exceptions are constituencies covering Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands council areas (which each have a smaller electorate and are not subject to review under the legislation) and any constituency exceeding 12,000 square kilometres which is allowed to have a smaller electorate under certain circumstances.
The legislation stipulates that there are to be 600 constituencies in the UK, including 53 in Scotland. Two constituencies in Scotland are prescribed in the legislation: ‘Orkney and Shetland’ constituency and ‘Na h-Eileanan an Iar’ constituency. We do not review these constituencies and will make recommendations for 51 constituencies in Scotland.
As an independent and politically impartial body, we do not take into account patterns of voting or the results of elections when reviewing constituency boundaries. Nor do the political parties’ views on where boundaries should be have any more weight than those of members of the public.
No. These proposals do not affect: your council boundary, ward boundary or community council boundary; your council tax and the services your council provides; your school catchment area; your postcode or postal address; access to public or private facilities or transport; policing or fire service areas; or, NHS services, i.e. your GP or local hospital.
We publish information about our work on our website through the News and Reviews in Progress sections, and on Facebook and twitter. At key stages of the review, we issue news releases to newspapers and broadcasters. At the public consultation stages of the review, we make maps and other information about our proposals available for inspection at locations such as public libraries and council offices. We also provide an online mapping facility that allows users to compare our proposals with other electoral boundaries in the area and comment on our proposals and others’ comments. We publish transcripts of our public hearings for public scrutiny and comment.
The public consultation process is designed to allow everyone to inspect our proposals and express their views for or against our proposals, and also to allow comment on views expressed by others. You can do this by submitting an online response through this consultation portal, by letter (Boundary Commission for Scotland, Thistle House, 91 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh, EH12 5HD) or by email (comments@scottishboundaries.gov.uk). You can also express your views in person at public hearings. Views in support of our proposals are as important as those against.
Once we have met the electorate rule, we also have to ensure that the extent of every constituency is less than 13,000 square kilometres. We can also take account of special geographical considerations, local authority boundaries, existing constituency boundaries and local ties which would be broken by changing constituencies. More information is set out in our Policies and Procedures booklet.
No. If you want to add to what you have said in a comment, you should submit a further comment, pointing out that your additional remarks relate to an earlier comment.
Yes, you can send us as many comments as you wish. However, it may help you to present a strong argument if you put all your evidence and suggestions in a single comment.
Yes. If you are submitting a comment on behalf of a group, you should make that clear when you do so, to help us understand how widely that comment is supported. If you are submitting a petition in support of a comment, you can either send that to us, or upload it as a Word, Excel or PDF file.
Yes, you can send us comments on any of the areas in the consultation. We have structured the consultation into geographic areas to make it easier to access the proposals, but there are no limits on which areas you can comment on.
The constituencies covering these island areas are defined by legislation to be one covering Orkney and Shetland, and another covering Na h-Eileanan an Iar. Since the extent of these constituencies cannot be changed, we have not included them in the list of areas.
Yes. We’ve published all the discussion papers and minutes from our meetings where we discussed these proposals. We’ve also published an index showing which of our discussion papers and meetings considered each constituency (http://www.bcomm-scotland.independent.gov.uk/2018_westminster/index.asp (link is external)). If you would prefer to browse through the papers yourself, they are at http://www.bcomm-scotland.independent.gov.uk/publications/meeting_papers/2016/2016index.asp (link is external).
It is important to us to be able to validate the authenticity of any comments received, and therefore the name fields are mandatory when you submit a response.
In line with our privacy policy, before publishing comments we will remove your signature, and any personal contact details such as address, phone number or email address.
The maps and information on this website are published for the purpose of public consultation, and you are free to republish information in support of that. There’s more information on our copyright page at http://www.bcomm-scotland.gov.uk/commission/copyright.asp (link is external)
Yes, when submitting a comment, you can upload a PDF file, a Word document or an Excel spreadsheet. If you want to send more than 1 file, or a file in a different format, please do so by email (comments@scottishboundaries.gov.uk). We’ve limited the upload facilities on the website to protect against malicious uploads and also added a file size limit of 10MB.
No. You can also email us (comments@scottishboundaries.gov.uk), come to one of the Public Hearings which we are holding during November and December 2016, or write to us (Boundary Commission for Scotland, Thistle House, 91 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh, EH12 5HD).
You can contact us by email (enquiries@scottishboundaries.gov.uk), telephone us (0131 244 2001), or write to us (Boundary Commission for Scotland, Thistle House, 91 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh, EH12 5HD).
The consultation site is set up to allow you to view the proposals on an interactive map, and to help you make a comment on the proposals. It includes copies of the consultation posters and summary booklet which we have issued as part of the review. There is further information about other stages of the review, and the detail of how we developed our Initial Proposals on our main website at http://www.bcomm-scotland.independent.gov.uk/2018_westminster/ (link is external). That includes more extensive Frequently Asked Questions about our work at http://www.bcomm-scotland.independent.gov.uk/faqs
• Comments which support are as important as those which oppose.
• Comments will be judged on the quality of argument and evidence presented.

Effective comments will:
• Where they are objecting to the Commission’s proposals, suggest an alternative, as well as setting out the objection.
• Take account of the statutory requirements.
• Consider the consequences of the suggested alternative across the widest possible area.
This consultation part of our website allows you to:
• view our proposals on a map which you can zoom and pan
• compare our proposals with other electoral boundaries
• search our proposals by postcode and by council area
• submit your comments on the proposals to us
• view and remark on others’ comments
If you just want to download information about the proposals, want to know more background about how we decided on the proposals, or want to know more about us and the rest of our work, you can use the main part of our website www.bcomm-scotland.independent.gov.uk/2018_westminster (link is external).
Our initial consultation period lasted from 20 October 2016 until 11 January 2017. All comments received during the initial consultation can be viewed and commented on during our 4 week secondary consultation from 28 February to 27 March 2017. In Autumn 2017 we will publish any Revised Proposals for constituencies for an 8 week period of public consultation.