Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Sweet boundary change blues

The vote on the constituency boundary changes last night produced some contorted political logic from the Commons.

It pitched the Tory Ministers, who backed the changes to even constituencies and reduce the number of MPs to 600, against Lib Dems who wanted revenge for their Lords reforms being trashed.

At one stage the government's front bench was completely empty of Ministers, as the Lib Dems spoke to wreck the bill. This is what a Coalition divorce looks like, but Coalition 2.0 can't be sustained with fall outs like this.

For some, life was sweet last night. Charles Kennedy finally got the Coalition he wanted and was delighted to tweet that he and his Lib Dem colleagues had just voted against the government. "After two years sense has prevailed".

Scotland Offfice Minister David Mundell, ever loyal, was in the position of having to support the changes which would have seen him lose a fair chunk of his Dumfrieshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale constituency. The changes would have seen him standing in Labour strongholds and that could have proved fatal in 2015

Not to worry though, the faithful Mundell trooped through the government lobby, safe in the knowledge that his constituents - Labour MPs Jimmy Hood and Russell Brown - would be voting the other way, to increase his chances of remaining as the only Tory MP in Scotland.

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