Brexit, Covid-19, England’s 3-2 loss to Italy on penalties at the UEFA Euro 2020 finals, three prime ministers, a coronation, the UK’s first Eurovision in 25 years… A lot can happen in an election cycle.
It’s been four years since voters in Hertfordshire went to the polls to elect their members of Parliament. On December 12, 2019, Boris Johnson increased his party’s share of the seats in the House of Commons – up 48 to 365. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour lost 60 seats – securing a total of 202. The Liberal Democrats secured 11 seats, including one – St Albans – in Hertfordshire.
Daisy Cooper, the party’s deputy leader, represents the cathedral city in Westminster and is the only MP in the county to sit on the opposition benches. Two out of Hertfordshire’s 11 MPs attend the Conservative cabinet and are among the most senior politicians in the country.
These are Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden, who represents the Hertsmere constituency covering Borehamwood and Potters Bar, and Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps – the defence secretary.
But the number of MPs in Hertfordshire will rise at the next general election by one – to 12 seats. The decision follows a Boundary Commission for England review and recommendation, which the Privy Council has signed off on.
Tim Bowden, secretary to the Commission, said: “We have taken into account over 60,000 public comments, travelled the country, and heard many passionate views about how best to reflect local community ties in our recommendations.”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is yet to call the vote – and he has more than a year left before the December 17, 2024 deadline. If an election isn’t announced by then, Parliament will be dissolved automatically and a vote will occur before the end of January 2025.
The new constituencies will be:
Broxbourne will have an electorate of roughly 75,454.
The constituency will include the whole of the Borough of Broxbourne – including Cheshunt, Hoddesdon and Waltham Cross.
Voters in Great Amwell, Hertford Heath and Stanstead Abbots will also help Broxbourne choose its next MP.
Cuffley and Northaw will move into next-door Hertsmere.
Harpenden and Berkhamsted
Harpenden and Berkhamsted will have an electorate of roughly 71,635.
The constituency will cover Berkhamsted, Harpenden and Tring – plus several villages including Flamstead, Markyate, Redbourn and Wheathampstead.
Hemel Hempstead will have an electorate of roughly 70,496.
The constituency will cover Hemel Hempstead, Bovingdon, Chipperfield and Flaunden.
Markyate and Flamstead will move into the new Harpenden and Berkhamsted seat.
Hertford and Stortford
Hertford and Stortford will have an electorate of roughly 75,396.
The constituency will cover Bishop’s Stortford, Hertford, Sawbridgeworth and Ware.
Stanstead Abbotts, Great Amwell and Hertford Heath will move into next-door Broxbourne.
Hertsmere will have an electorate of roughly 73,256.
The constituency will cover Borehamwood, Elstree, Potters Bar and Radlett.
Most Bushey voters will remain in Hertsmere, but Watford’s MP will represent Bushey North ward.
Voters in Cuffley, Newgate Street and Northaw – who live in the Welwyn Hatfield borough – will also help Hertsmere voters elect their MP.
Hitchin will have an electorate of roughly 72,112.
The constituency will cover the Hitchin, Great Offley and Kimpton areas of Hertfordshire.
It will also take Shefford from Mid Bedfordshire, and Arlesey and Stotfold from North East Bedfordshire.
North East Hertfordshire
North East Hertfordshire will have an electorate of roughly 76,849.
There are no changes planned to the boundaries around North East Hertfordshire, which covers Baldock, Buntingford, Letchworth and Royston.
South West Hertfordshire
South West Hertfordshire will have an electorate of roughly 71,552.
The constituency will cover the Rickmansworth, Abbots Langley, Bedmond, Chorleywood, Kings Langley and South Oxhey areas.
Bovingdon and the surrounding villages will move into next-door Hemel Hempstead.
Berkhamsted and Tring will become part of a new Harpenden and Berkhamsted seat.
St Albans will have an electorate of roughly 70,881.
The constituency will cover the city, Colney Heath and London Colney.
Bedmond will move into next-door South West Hertfordshire.
Stevenage will have an electorate of roughly 70,370.
There are no changes planned to the boundaries around Stevenage, which covers the town and borough, Aston, Datchworth and Knebworth.
Watford will have an electorate of roughly 70,576.
The constituency will cover Watford town and the borough.
It will also cover the Bushey North ward, which lies in the Hertsmere borough.
Abbots Langley, Carpenders Park and Leavesden will move into next-door South West Hertfordshire.
Welwyn Hatfield will have an electorate of roughly 74,535.
The constituency will cover Hatfield, Welwyn and Welwyn Garden City.
Cuffley, Newgate Street and Northaw in the borough of Welwyn Hatfield will lie in the next-door Hertsmere constituency.