Page last updated at 09:11 GMT, Thursday, 21 May 2009 10:11 UK

Holyrood seats to keep old names

Scottish Parliament chamber
Holyrood will keep its 73 seats and eight regions under the shake-up

Plans to abolish several long-established Scottish Parliament constituency names have been scrapped.

The Boundary Commission wanted to scrap names such as Glasgow Cathcart and Edinburgh Pentlands and replace them with South Glasgow and East Edinburgh.

But now it has recommended the old names be restored but the boundaries should be rejigged.

Holyrood and Westminster constituency names were the same until 2005 when the number of MPs in Scotland was reduced.

The review, currently being carried out, would see Scotland keeping its 73 Holyrood seats and eight regions, but with boundaries changed to take account of population changes.

The proposal to change names to compass-points such as East Glasgow and North Central Glasgow were dropped in favour of the old names which differentiated them from the renamed Westminster constituencies.

The commission is due to report to Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy by the end of next June.

Meanwhile, the revised recommendations will now go out to public consultation.

The recommendations would also bring changes for some of the eight Holyrood electoral regions - which would be called: Highlands and Islands; North East Scotland; Mid-Scotland and Fife; West Central Scotland; Glasgow; East Central Scotland; Lothian and South Scotland.


Glasgow's nine seats, excluding Rutherglen, would drop to eight, under proposals announced last year. This total would remain unchanged, but plans to give the new constituencies compass-point names such as East Glasgow, North Central Glasgow, and North Glasgow have now been dropped.

The new constituencies would instead be called: Glasgow Anniesland; Glasgow Cathcart; Glasgow Kelvin; Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn; Glasgow Pollok; Glasgow Provan; Glasgow Shettleston; and Glasgow Southside.


Edinburgh's tally of six seats would remain unchanged, but a plan to drop the name Edinburgh Pentlands has been scrapped.

The capital's seats would be called: Edinburgh Central; Edinburgh Corstorphine and Forth; Edinburgh East and South; Edinburgh Pentlands; Edinburgh Southside and Edinburgh Trinity and Leith.


Aberdeen would see radical changes under the original proposals.

The earlier recommendation was for an east-west split - but the commission has now proposed an Aberdeen Central and Aberdeen Donside split.


A good example of the thinking to vary Holyrood and Westminster constituencies which have the same names, but different boundaries, Dundee's two Holyrood seats would become Dundee City East and Dundee City West.


The town will now be split into two constituencies along the line of the River Nith.

Two new seats will be created - everything to the west will be in the Western Dumfriesshire and Galloway constituency with the rest of the town in Dumfriesshire.


In the central belt, the commission has dropped its proposed North Renfrewshire and Clydebank constituency, which would have straddled the Clyde, between Renfrewshire and Dunbartonshire.

This was done in favour of realigning other boundaries.

West Lothian was to have partially gained a new seat, called Lanark, Shotts and Whitburn, due to population shifts.

But under the new plans there would only be two seats - Almond Valley and Linlithgow - although the sizes of the electorates, 60,080 and 62,810 respectively, would be well above the "quota" that applies to each Holyrood constituency, set at an average of 54,728.

But the commission said this was needed because of a "unique set of circumstances" affecting the West Lothian council area, which prevented a viable alternative.

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