PROPOSALS to change the boundaries of Scotland’s Westminster constituencies have come in for some fierce criticism so far, particularly as they will mean Scotland will lose two MPs if they are given the green light.

But the impact on communities themselves runs much deeper than that, with towns and villages that have little connection to each other potentially being represented by the same politician.

We’ve taken a dive into some of the constituencies that would be most affected by the proposed changes and spoken to community leaders on the ground about their biggest concerns.


Moray is without a doubt one of the areas which would be affected most by the plans.

The National: Nairn, Strathspey and Moray West proposed constituencyNairn, Strathspey and Moray West proposed constituency (Image: Boundary Commission)

Currently, the whole council area is represented by one MP – Douglas Ross – at Westminster, but the Boundary Commission has suggested it should be split into two seats called Aberdeenshire North and Moray East, and Nairn, Strathspey and Moray West.

This means places like Elgin would be lumped in with Highland communities like Nairn, Grantown-on-Spey and Aviemore, while residents in Keith would end up voting for the same MP as people in the Aberdeenshire communities of Fraserburgh and Peterhead.

Councillors Jeremie Fernandes and Graham Leadbitter – who both represent different parts of Elgin – say the proposals make no sense.

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Fernandes said: “Moray has a really strong identity at the moment. These proposals will dilute that identity.

“You are lumping communities together that don’t have much to do with each other. These proposals are doing a real disservice to the local communities because there’s going to be a new MP – if the changes are implemented – that’s going to come in and they could know Elgin very well but it’s unlikely that person would have the knowledge of all the areas within the seat."

Leadbitter added: “To stretch the Moray West constituency right to the southern boundary of the Highlands from the Moray coast means it’s a constituency which spans two different regions and communities who have little in common with each other.

“It makes it hard for anyone to serve those communities well.”

The carve-up could also spell the end of Tory rule in Moray.

Fernandes added: “I think Douglas Ross would lose his seat at the next election anyway but of course, in terms of representation, if you take into account Elgin and Nairn, he would lose the seat without any doubt.”


Under the proposals, Angus would be split into two seats – North Tayside and Dundee East and Arbroath – and most of the area’s coastline would be taken into another constituency, essentially erasing the historic county.

The National: Parts of Angus would fall into Dundee East and Arbroath Parts of Angus would fall into Dundee East and Arbroath (Image: Boundary Commssion)

Angus SNP councillor Lloyd Melville said the plans ignore natural community links.

He said: “For my constituents, these proposals are a nonsense. They ignore the established communities of our area.

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“Anyone who is even remotely familiar with the geography of this area will tell you that this Frankenstein-esque stitch-together is utterly unjustifiable.

“It is yet another sign of the UK political system failing people not just here in Angus, but right across Scotland, as they ride roughshod over the history and identity of our communities.”


Inverclyde Council has been against changing Westminster boundaries from the off, as members agreed to oppose the initial proposals last year.

Under the plans, the Inverclyde seat would become Inverclyde and Renfrewshire West, taking in Renfrewshire villages such as Bridge of Weir and Houston that it has no real historic links with.

SNP councillor Chris Curley said: “Inverclyde is a historic area and there are links between areas within it.

“I don’t think there is great historic links with Bridge of Weir and Houston. If anything there is a bigger link with Bishopton because that was originally designed as an overflow town for workers in Greenock.

“I know they’re [the Boundary Commission] trying to equalise constituencies but you have to think about the impact on the people represented.”


Alongside villages being absorbed into Inverclyde, there are other areas of Renfrewshire that will see change should these plans come into place.

The Paisley and Renfrewshire North Seat would hoover up parts of Glasgow including Cardonald and Hillington, while the village of Brookfield would be cut off from its close neighbour of Houston and put in Paisley and Renfrewshire South.

The National: Proposals for Paisley and Renfrewshire SouthProposals for Paisley and Renfrewshire South (Image: Boundary Commission)

Renfrewshire North and West MSP Natalie Don said: “Renfrewshire is being torn apart. Bridge of Weir and Houston will have the same MP as residents in far off communities such as Wemyss Bay.

“These changes will only lead to more stretched representation and further confusion for residents when trying to contact their local representatives.”

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Paisley councillor Kenny MacLaren added: “There are concerns the Boundary Commission’s own guidance on not splitting communities, council areas and council wards is being ignored in these proposals. It feels as if in order to get the right number of constituents in either Glasgow or Inverclyde, Renfrewshire has been carved up.”


Glasgow Central – represented by the SNP’s Alison Thewliss – would cease to exist if the Boundary Commission gets its way, with the city centre being split into three different constituencies.

Thewliss said: "People in Glasgow are seeking help from elected representatives in very high numbers, with cost-of-living issues, benefits and social security, and an enormous immigration backlog. The last thing they need is less representation and cases being more thinly spread around the city. 

"While we continue to represent Scotland at Westminster, the SNP will always oppose attempts to weaken Scotland's voice.”

East Dunbartonshire

The main town in East Dunbartonshire, Kirkintilloch, has been partly saved by the Boundary Commission proposals, as currently it is split between two different constituencies and the plans make sure it’s all in one.

But in solving that issue the Boundary Commission has created another by pulling Kirkintilloch away from East Dunbartonshire entirely and lumping it with parts of North Lanarkshire.

Meanwhile, Chryston – a North Lanarkshire village – will become part of the East Dunbartonshire constituency, which will be oddly called Bearsden and Campsie Fells.  

Gordon Low, SNP group leader on the council, said: “The Boundary Commission’s proposals tend to be constrained by trying to equalise numbers across constituencies and as a result you tend to find the more obvious community links being broken.

“The proposal does keep the whole of Kirkintilloch within one constituency but it now separates it from the rest of East Dunbartonshire. Effectively it’s entirely cut off.

“They’re sorting one problem but it’s got a knock-on effect for the rest of the area.”