TWO-thirds of Holyrood’s constituencies are set for a shake-up with name changes and redrawn boundary lines.

Boundaries Scotland published provisional proposals for the new boundaries for Scottish Parliament seats, with a public consultation on the changes launched at the same time.

Out of 73 constituency seats, 25 (34%) will be given both new names and boundaries, while 26 (35%) will retain their original names but see “minor changes” to their geographical area. A total of 21 constituencies will remain unchanged.

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One constituency, North East Fife, will keep its boundaries but have its name changed to Fife North East to avoid confusion with the UK constituency of the same name.

Meanwhile, Na h-Eileanan an lar, Orkney Islands, and Shetland Islands, are not under review as they have a protected status in the legislation.

“I believe that our provisional proposals offer a robust set of constituencies within the legislative rules set for us,” Ronnie Hinds, chair of Boundaries Scotland, said.

“They represent a necessary rebalancing to reflect movements of the electorate in Scotland since parliamentary boundaries were last reviewed.”

The National:

The central belt will see a number of changes (in blue) to constituencies

The average electorate in a Holyrood constituency is 59,902. Other factors including local authorities, special geographical circumstances, maintaining local ties and any inconvenience caused by changes made, were also considered, Boundaries Scotland said.

A total of 26 constituencies retained their original names but there has been “relatively little change to the existing boundaries”, includes Aberdeenshire East, Cowdenbeath, Dunfermline, Inverness and Nairn, Kirkcaldy and Rutherglen.

However, over a third will be given new names and new geographical boundary areas. The plans would create the new seats of Airdrie, Newmains and Shotts, Banff and Buchan Coast, Dumbarton and Helensburgh, Livingston, and Motherwell.

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All constituencies in Glasgow and Edinburgh have been changed in one form or another, with seven out of eight constituency seats in Glasgow being renamed.

And while the grouping including East Renfrewshire, Glasgow City, Inverclyde and Renfrewshire council areas are losing one constituency, the grouping with the City of Edinburgh, East Lothian, West Lothian and Midlothian areas will gain one constituency.

A total of 13 of the constituencies will cover two council areas, while one constituency, Midlothian North and Musselburgh, will straddle three council areas – City of Edinburgh, East Lothian and Midlothian.

Overall, the plans have proposed 26 burgh constituencies, covering an area of 68 square kilometers or less, and 44 county constituencies, covering an area of 89 square km or more.

The National:

Two-thirds of Scotland's constituencies will see a change 

“We have reduced the variation in electorate between the largest and smallest constituencies by over a third, and increased the number of constituencies sitting within a council area from 51 to 59,” Hinds said.

“Today is the beginning of a process, however, and we now want to hear the views of the public.

“We will reflect on responses to the consultation and make changes where appropriate and where the legislation allows us to do so.

“We strongly encourage people to make their views heard.

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“We particularly want to hear suggestions for alternative boundaries that comply with the legislative requirements and for constituency names.”

Legislation requires Holyrood has 73 constituencies for Scottish Parliament elections, and determines the rules that the Boundaries Commission have to abide by when creating the proposals.

“Those rules include a requirement to have regard to the boundaries of local authority areas, and to design constituencies where the electorate is as close to the electoral quota as is practical.

“The electoral quota is the average electorate per constituency, excluding the three protected constituencies, at the start of the review.”

The month-long consultation will run until Saturday 17 June, and if any changes are made to the proposals after responses have been analysed, a second month-long consultation will be launched before any final decision is made.

The Boundaries Scotland review will also consult on the boundaries of regions for Scottish Parliament elections in late 2023, heading into 2024.

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We previously told how boundary proposals for Westminster constituencies in Scotland prompted outrage after it emerged that Scotland would be set to lose two MPs.

In November last year, the plans were branded as “outrageous” after it emerged that Scotland would lose two MPs and Wales would see a decrease of eight, while England would pick up 10.

Scotland will then have 57 MPs, rather than 59.