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Tuesday, 6 September 2016
Boundary Commission: Belfast could lose a constituency
Belfast could lose one of its four parliamentary constituencies under new Boundary Commission proposals.
The number of seats in Northern Ireland would fall from 18 to 17, in what is being seen as an extensive redrawing of Northern Ireland's electoral map.
Outside Belfast, five constituencies would disappear and six new ones would be created.
The plans, which will go out for consultation, have had a mixed reaction from the political parties.
The proposals are part of a UK-wide process aimed at reducing the overall size of the House of Commons from 650 to 600 MPs.
The main changes proposed for Northern Ireland are:
In Belfast, only Belfast East will keep its name. Though the seat would lose areas like Dundonald, it would gain several wards from the existing South Belfast
A newly-created Belfast South West would amalgamate most of the existing South Belfast and about half of West Belfast
The rest of West Belfast would go into Belfast North West
Elsewhere, eight constituencies would continue with minimal boundary changes
Six new constituencies would be created, provisionally called Dalriada, Glenshane, North Tyrone, Upper Bann and Blackwater, West Antrim and West Down
Five names would disappear: Lagan Valley, East Londonderry, North Antrim, West Tyrone and Mid-Ulster
The DUP said the proposals were a "first draft" of a process that would not conclude until late 2018.
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