Borough’s constituencies left largely untouched by review

Wigan Town Hall
Wigan Town Hall

Wigan, Leigh and Makerfield will not be affected by upcoming boundary changes, the Evening Post understands.

The government is expected to confirm proposals today as it aims to cut the number of MPs by 50 to 600.

Research by Tory peer Lord Hayward earlier this month predicted the vast majority of Labour seats would be affected in some way.

And there had been speculation about a potential carving-up of Leigh given that was part of previous proposals in 2010.

It means if mayoral hopeful Andy Burnham does vacate his seat next year as expected, his replacement will be presiding over the same area.

It appears Bolton West - which includes Atherton - could be changed, taking on another ward from another Bolton constituency.

This change could have significant implications given that incumbent Conservative MP Chris Green won the last election by a small majority ahead of Labour’s Julie Hilling.

The boundary changes were pushed through by previous Prime Minister David Cameron to create seats with a more equal number of constituents.

Lord Hayward’s figures suggest that of the 50 seats that disappear, the Conservatives will lose between 10 to 15, which is 4.5 per cent of their total but Labour is on track to lose between 25 and 30, some 13 per cent of their current representation.

Some constituencies could turn from safe Labour seats to marginal ones, it added.

But the plans have been criticised by Labour who have accused their rivals of gerrymandering.

Earlier this month chief whip Dame Rosie Winterton said Lord Hayward’s research was fresh evidence the policy was a “partisan” move to benefit the Tories.

A spokesperson for Dame Rosie said: “Lord Hayward’s comments - a key architect of the Conservative’s boundary changes - that reducing the number of MPs will benefit the Tories’ electorally, is further evidence that the sole motivation for these changes is a partisan plan to give the Tories’ an unfair advantage.”