Final recommendations for new constituency boundaries mean changes for Thanet

Boundary changes

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

2 Bradstowe

3 Central Harbour

4 Cliffsend and Pegwell

5 Cliftonville East

6 Cliftonville West

7 Dane Valley

8 Eastcliff

9 Kingsgate

10 Margate Central 11 Nethercourt

12 Newington

13 Northwood

14 Salmestone

15 Sir Moses Montefiore 16 St. Peters

17 Viking

Herne Bay and Sandwich wards

1 Beltinge

2 Birchington North

3 Birchington South

4 Garlinge

5 Greenhill

6 Herne & Broomfield

7 Heron

8 Little Stour & Ashstone

9 Reculver

10 Sandwich

11 Sturry

12 Thanet Villages

13 West Bay

14 Westbrook

15 Westgate-on-Sea

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


    • I’m a thanet man I think it’s wrong my sister lives in Westgate as dose my younger brother under a herne bay ruling it will always by known as Westgate on sea thanet not herne Bay I’m very proud to be a thanet boy born and bred

  1. As you imply, the East Thanet constituency looks like an easy win for Labour while the “bizarre” constituency of West Thanet looks more likely to go Tory.
    But all this chopping and changing of boundaries does not answer the major problems in our increasingly weak democracy.
    In the future, you could spend a lifetime voting Tory in East Thanet and it would always be pointless.
    Similarly, if you vote Labour in the West Thanet and Villages area, you would also face a lifetime of wasted votes.
    Most constituencies in Britain are already like this ie. one Party always wins and the others always lose.
    Our First past the Post system leads to “bizarre” results such as the last election in 2019. Then, the Tories won 43% of the voters but took Parliament with a “landslide” 80-seat majority!
    Or,put another way, the Party promising to “get Brexit done” stormed to power with only 43% of the voters. The other Parties, promising another referendum, got 57% of the vote and were deemed to have lost badly!?
    If we had a system of Proportional Representation (there are various forms) then, in 2019, roughly 43% of MPs would have been Tory/Brexiter and 57% would have been a mix of Labour/Lib Dem/Green etc and would probably have formed a co alition government. A government that would have reflected the broad opinion of most voters.
    With “First past the Post”, the biggest Party forms the government even after getting less than half the voters.
    Changing the boundaries will not improve this.

    • FPTP is part of the triple lock that keeps this country the way it is:

      * FPTP
      * The British class system
      * Our heavily right wing media

      Until all three of these are eroded/removed nothing much will change.. the Tories will continue to win most elections, using their clever marketing to make the middle classes believe in them whilst pillaging the country in favour of the wealthiest.

      • There’s nothing right wing about the BBC and Channel Four, and arguably they have much more influence than the newspapers. And thousands, perhaps millions of working class people vote Conservative (they probably won’t next time!)

      • Your right Paul, I am a member of the Electoral Reform Society, and calculated not one government since the war has had a majority vote! That means more people vote against any government than for it, and they call that democracy, demockery more like!

        As MP’s contribute little or nothing to their constituencies, I am in favour of the “List” system, similar to other grown up countries that have it like Germany, which the British gave them after the war! People should vote for a parties policies, not for some jumped up populist who will tell their electorate anything they want to hear in order to get elected, like Johnson did! Remember the £350 million a week we would save if we left the EU, yeah, right that never happened did it! And he would “fix Social Care”, again yeah right! I could go on, but his list of lies would bore everyone! Now we have both Thanet’s Chocolate Teapot MP’e promoting the re-opening of Manston to win votes, that won’t happen either, and no passenger flights will happen even if they do, cargo flights only!

    • I believe that the winning side in our local election earlier this year had 40% of the votes cast. Many who comment on here were over the moon with the result & had no problem with the figures.

  2. I have always thought people stupid that do not vote but Im no longer going too either.The standard of politicians seems to be getting lower and lower.Why throw another one at us.We cant evdn deal with weeds,litter,graffiti and anti social behaviour let alone matters of International concern.

    • Not voting is another way of saying you couldn’t care less who wins. Which is fine, but then you can’t complain.

      • Most of the people I talk to, who don’t vote, are actually fed up with the process. They may say they don’t care but it’s because they don’t believe the system works and so are not listened to. Years or decades of this, for most ordinary folk, means anger and frustration ends with not engaging.
        I really understand, I also beleive the “systems” and processes are designed to create this apathy.
        If voting changed anything it would be made illegal.

    • This is a dangerous attitude.

      “they are all as bad each other” lets them off, it says that they can do whatever they like.

      It tells them that they do not even have to really try.


  3. Even more reasons why Craig Mckinley will attempt to change his suite of clothing yet again. Still he will get a redundancy payment for loss of office and a fantastic pension at the public’s expense should he decide to remain with his present party.

  4. There are several forces at work here. Firstly, the system has not changed fundamentally since the Ballots Act of 1872, which allowed for secret voting. The Chartists six points have still not been met, because they believed that annual elections would cut down bribery and corruption, and yet here, we still we drag onwards with deadbeat governments like this one, till someone calls a halt, and puts the sad old thing out of its misery.
    There is not much we can do about the right wing press, except to refute their often unfounded allegations when progressive policies are aired.
    Candidates do have to be of a certain standing. Bankrupts, criminals, and the mad are not allowed to stand, though liars, cheats, con persons, demagogues, snake oil salesmen, the unpleasant, the nasty, and the merely deranged, often feature in the houses of parliament.
    Proportional representation, and a constitutional settlement for the UK, is necessary to check the tendency of the 4 nations to fly apart, to their detriment, simply because not enough effort has been put in to deliver worthwhile benefits of UK membership on a widespread basis. This is why Brexit succeeded if you can call it a success. If good people stand by and do nothing ,evil can prosper, and that’s exactly what happened.
    The next time a proportional voting system is on offer, for god sake say yes, and stop listening to idiots like Rees-Mogg and Mackinlay, who want nothing more than to turn the UK into some kind of monarchist Gilead.
    The Boundary commission can do what it likes, but the current system is not fit for purpose. If it is not changed, so that every vote counts, unpleasant alternatives maybe taken up. The current system has allowed extremes of wealth and privilege to prosper, and in the long run, that cannot stand, but its overthrow by violent means, will be to our detriment.
    What I want to see is cooperation, progress, fairness, and a better future for all. This system will not deliver those objectives. Not voting allows the forces of degenerate reaction to maintain their grip on society.

  5. Assuming the changes are agreed it means there is a good chance the East Isle can remove Mackinlay. I’d like to see this but I wonder if Labour will make that their priority.
    The ideal scenario would be a progressive alliance standing a single candidate in East and West. On recent elections the best chance would be Labour in East and Green in West.
    But, also based on recent elections, Labour will renege on any agreements for Thanet such as the recent TDC election where the Greens could have taken 3-5 seats from the Con’s had Labour not stood in those Wards (where they had no chance of winning anyway).
    Power politics is so depressing.

    • I agree that our system is far from perfect, but I find the idea surgested above abhorrent. For parties to colude to remove the option of the electorate to vote for any candidate purely to secure the demise of another party is immoral to say the least & should be legal.

    • Be careful what you wish for: Centre-right parties might well collude to remove the (probably) incoming Labour MPs.

  6. As soon as I saw that Mackinlay disagreed with the changes I automatically assumed it was a common sense move and totally logical.

    He’s scared of losing his seat. Nothing more than that. He’ll have to find a new audience to bore the pants off with his climate change denying act.

  7. Farewell Mr. Mackinlay… and hopefully happy retirement Mr. Gale. Can’t wait to go head to head with old Peter the bogus author who no doubt will be spouting any right wing nonsense he can muster from his limited vocabulary, bring it on Pete.

  8. The electorate would still have the option to vote for any candidate – there would just be fewer candidates. I’m not sure how you would outlaw such a practice, by the way – mandate that every party must put forward a candidate in every constituency?

    • I agree Margaluf. It would (should!) be impossible to insist that every Party puts up a candidate, regardless of whether the members want to.
      Anyway, if,say, the Greens declined to stand a candidate in a given constituency, that would not automatically prevent Green voters from having a vote. As nothing would stop a disgruntled Green from forming a “True Green” Party and then standing!
      But, again, this problem just emphasises the need for Proportional Representation. Then, different Parties would not NEED to stand aside to get their voters to support the least worst candidate in order to defeat the most worst candidate.
      Let’s be frank. We are talking about an alliance of Parties to work out which non-Tory Party stands the best chance of defeating the Tory in a given constituency.
      Currently, using the rough results in the last General Election, let’s say that the Tory in the West Thanet area gets 43% of the vote. Good, but NOT a majority.
      Maybe Labour gets around 35%. The Lib Dems get 15% and the Greens get 7%.
      With Proportional Representation nobody will have wasted their vote. Because, very roughly, the next Parliament will have 43% Tories, 35% Labour,15% Lib Dem and 7% Green.
      No need for alliances, stepping down to let other Parties win. Nobody needs to compromise their beliefs by, say, voting Labour and not Green just to get the Tory out.
      Because all Parties would be sat in Parliament in roughly the same proportion as the votes they received.
      In fact, it would encourage a broader range of ideas and policies. No need to grit your teeth when you see Labour drop all their original policies in order to win a tiny ,but vital, percentage of Tory voters. Because , with PR, we know that there would never be another Tory majority in the Commons based on just 40% of the voters.
      (Of course, the Libs Dems might spoil it all by entering a co alition with the Tories again.) But, then again, such a co alition would only end up with policies that would fit in with Kier Starmer’s opinions anyway. So they would all be happy. Except us!!!

      • I understand the principal of PR & it would work perfectly if there was only two choices as it did with the Brexit Referendum, but how would it work in a multi party system? Using the figures from your example of West Thanet. Which party would the MP be from?

  9. Zak Goldsmith (Lord) has resigned as a Minister from the Tory Government because the Bill on animal rights including stopping live exports has been dumped. So McKinley are you going to stand by your principle’s and do the same? We doubt it.

    • I’m not particularly a defender of the Tories, but this is incorrect.

      The Boundary Commission is independent and not politically controlled.

      • Hi Paul.
        I’m sorry, but you seem to be using facts and talking sense, rather than the usual input from “real world”, “Peter ‘self published author extraordinaire’ Chequesbounce” and whatever the other racist halfwits are called.

        Please, the main point of the comments here is to make thinly veiled racist remarks, blaming the young for having fun and hating any art that isn’t an oil painting of a horse.

        A Plumb.

  10. The Boundary Commission should just add it to Greater London saves all the extra paper work. Try looking for local people in Whitstable or Broadstairs these days.

    • And by ‘local’ you mean what exactly?
      Being born there? That you and your parents were born there? Does it have to be grandparents? And do you all have to have lived your lives locally too?
      What about folk who upsticks and move to ‘local’. They’ve made a choice to live there rather than accident of birth, does this make them actively local and the “locals” passively local?

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