MPs block planned constituency boundary review
BRISTOL'S Parliamentary representation will remain unaltered until at least 2018 after MPs voted to block a planned boundary review.
The House of Commons voted by 334 to 292 to accept changes made by the House of Lords, meaning the planned constituency shake-up will be postponed for five years.
In 2011 the Boundary Commission unveiled proposals to redraw constituency boundaries across the UK, making them all of equal size and reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600.
And although the boundary review had originally been a joint Coalition commitment, Liberal Democrat MPs voted against their Conservative colleagues to defeat the measure.
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Earlier, North Somerset MP Liam Fox had attacked the Liberal Democrat position on boundary changes as "deeply dishonourable".
"They can't keep their side of coalition bargain," he tweeted, "who will trust them again?"
The two parties had been in dispute since proposed reforms to the House of Lords were dropped as a result of backbench Conservative pressure last year.
If the review had proceeded as planned, then political analysts believed it would have helped the Conservatives win up to 20 extra seats in the 2015 general election.
Before the vote, Totnes MP Dr Sarah Woollaston argued there was "no getting around the awkward fact" that in Bristol West Stephen Williams represented a constituency of 82,503, while his neighbouring Labour MP in Bristol East, Kerry McCarthy, spoke for 69,347 constituents.
"In other words," she wrote in a national newspaper, "your vote goes a great deal further in Bristol East than in any other part of the city."