Proposed new Scottish Parliament boundary changes revealed – have your say

By Richard Wood

Boundaries Scotland has published their proposed new boundaries for constituencies in the Scottish Parliament.

The boundaries were published on Wednesday 17 May 2023.

The review affects the 70 non-protected First Past the Post seats in the Scottish Parliament. Orkney, Shetland and Na h-Eileanan an Iar are exempt from review as outlined in legislation.

There is now a one-month period of consultation where you can have your say.

The final outcome from the review will result in the 2026 Scottish Parliamentary elections being the first to be conducted under new boundaries.

Useful information:

  • Overview of proposed new boundaries – here
  • Proposed new boundary maps and other information – here
  • Consultation – give your views here

Ballot Box Scotland has compiled a useful comparison of the current and proposed new boundaries side by side.

SEE MORE: First Past the Post fails English local democracy – this time it’s different


Boundary changes are an inevitable consequence of any electoral system, however, the frequency of when they take place is largely determined by the voting system used. The First Past the Post element of the Scottish Parliament’s Additional Member System means that fairly regular changes are expected to account for changing and shifting populations across the country.

Of course, systems with larger, multi-member constituencies such as STV are less likely to require boundary changes due to the ability to simply add or take away representatives from existing boundaries to account for population changes.

It’s right for the boundary review to go ahead although there are certainly some oddities: the Edinburgh Forth and Linlithgow constituency arguably doesn’t have the most “natural” of boundaries. With that in mind, it is important for residents of different constituencies to have their say in the consultation which lasts until 17 June.

Of course, while the review is welcome and will improve representativeness in the current system, the case remains for a complete overhaul: replacing the Additional Member System and adopting a more representative system such as STV.

Remember to have your say here.

SEE MORE: 7 reforms to improve the Scottish Parliament

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