The Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new constituency boundaries which includes changes to create the constituencies of East Thanet and Herne Bay and Sandwich instead of South and North Thanet.
The recommendations report is now being laid before Parliament.
Changes for Thanet mean an East Thanet constituency taking in Ramsgate, Broadstairs and most of Margate but Westbrook, Birchington, Garlinge, Thanet villages wards and Westgate will come under a Herne Bay and Sandwich County Constituency.
Currently the constituencies are South Thanet- which includes Ramsgate, Broadstairs, Cliftonville, Sandwich and villages such as Preston – with MP Craig Mackinlay and North Thanet – including Margate, Manston, Minster, Westgate, Birchington and Herne Bay -with MP Sir Roger Gale.
The 2023 Boundary Review aim was to rebalance the number of electors each MP represents, resulting in significant change to the existing constituency map. As part of the review, the number of constituencies in England will increase from 533 to 543.
Current South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay previously branded the changes as bizarre, adding: ““Both existing seats were the right size in terms of elector numbers but due to population growth in Canterbury, Sturry was proposed to be moved into Thanet. In so accommodating just a few thousand new electors, the Boundary Commission have recommended wholesale change to the Thanet seats, causing massive displacement of constituents.”
Sir Roger said: “I look forward to campaigning in the new Herne Bay and Sandwich seat as the selected candidate for Sandwich, Little Stour and Ashstone and Sturry as well as my wards from the former North Thanet.
“I shall be very sad to lose the wonderful and regenerating town of Margate but hope and expect that Craig Mackinlay will pick up where I am leaving off in the newly created East Thanet seat and take the Town Deal forward.”
Electoral Calculus currently predicts a Labour win in the East Thanet ward, projecting the party as taking 86% of the vote.
Herne Bay & Sandwich is predicted as a Conservative win with 55% of the vote. The predictions are based on a General Election being held immediately.
East Thanet wards
1 Beacon Road
3 Central Harbour
4 Cliffsend and Pegwell
5 Cliftonville East
6 Cliftonville West
7 Dane Valley
10 Margate Central 11 Nethercourt
15 Sir Moses Montefiore 16 St. Peters
Herne Bay and Sandwich wards
2 Birchington North
3 Birchington South
6 Herne & Broomfield
8 Little Stour & Ashstone
12 Thanet Villages
13 West Bay
Secretary to the Commission, Tim Bowden, said: “The recommendations we have published mark the end of a thorough and consultative process to build the new map of Parliamentary constituencies.
“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.
“We are confident that our final recommendations are the best reflection of the statutory rules Parliament has set us. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has participated in the 2023 Boundary Review.”
The Government now has four months to bring forward an Order to give effect to the final recommendations.
The final recommendations can be viewed on the Commission’s website at https://boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk/