Memorandum submitted by the Scottish Labour
1. The Scottish Labour Party administers
the Labour Party in Scotland on behalf of the National Executive
Committee of the Labour Party. Those parts of Party administration
which apply only in Scotland are administrated by the Scottish
Executive Committee in liaison with the National Executive Committee.
The Scottish Executive would therefore be expected
to have a view on: The size of the Scottish Parliament, the number
of Westminster Constituencies in Scotland and the issue of the
coterminosity of boundaries; the effects on the organisation of
the Labour Party in Scotland of changes to the number of MPs and
MSPs and any resultant lack of coterminosity.
2. The Scottish Executive Committee of the
Labour Party discussed the size of the Scottish Parliament, in
light of the Secretary of State's consultation, at its meeting
on 9 March 2002. It was decided at that meeting that the Scottish
Labour Party would make a submission to that consultation. A copy
of that submission is attached
3. The Scottish Labour Party accepts that
there will be a reduction in the number of Westminster constituencies
4. The Scottish Labour Party at this stage
has not taken a view on whether there is a need to change the
method of electing Members of the Scottish Parliament. However,
the party's stated view in its submission to the consultation
on the size of the Scottish Parliament is that "as the Scotland
Act was created out of a broad consensus, any proposed changes
to the size of the composition of the Parliament should be based
on a similar consensus". There is, as yet, no consensus on
changing the method of electing the Scottish Parliament.
5. If the method of electing MSPs is not
to change; and the number of MSPs is not to change; and there
is to be a reduction in the number of MPs, the boundaries of Westminster
and Scottish Parliament constituencies will therefore not be coterminous.
6. The Scottish Labour Party accepts that
the lack of coterminosity will cause difficulties for party organisation.
The Scottish Labour Party is however, of the view that the Scottish
Parliament should retain the current number of members and therefore
until a change is made we will meet the challenge the lack of
UK PARLIAMENT, SCOTTISH
7. The Scottish Labour Party has not taken
a view on the implications for clarity and turnout of separate
voting systems as the decision to maintain the number of MSPs
at 129 and the resultant lack of coterminosity will not increase
the number of electoral systems in use in Scotland.
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