So when I mentioned my relative confidence on this matter in comments to a recent BQ post it was interesting to have King Kong's Banana replying:
a FEW BY ELECTIONS AND THEY WON'T GET IT THROUGH. GOLDSMITH PROBABLY BE THE FIRST, THEN SOME TROUGHER CAUGHT WITH THE BISHOP. AND ANOTHER WILL MAKE SOME DUMB ARSED RACIST COMMENT ABOUT CALAIS AND HAVE TO BE REMOVED. MAJORITY OF 3 NEXT YEAR. AND SO ANY TORY MP LIKELY TO LOSE OUT WONT VOTE FOR IT.Now that is interesting. As it happens I don't agree with Mr Banana per se, but it triggers another line of thought.
The reason I don't go with the above logic is that (a) the whips always offer to see any likely losers right - provided they behave, of course; and (b) there is no particular reason (bar the silly manifesto promise*) to stick with a reduced number of seats - it's only the boundaries that matter**.
However, the prospect of a single-digit majority after a couple of Events does make the whole thing rather tasty. Because every other party (barring the DUP?) has an interest in opposing boundary changes, thus giving the bastards an acute pressure-point.
Would they use a close vote on boundary changes to try to exact something on Europe? Or is a vote needed at all (see notes below)? What's the word in the '22, Mr Q?
* runs as follows: We will implement the boundary reforms that Parliament has already approved and make them apply automatically once the Boundary Commission reports in 2018 . 2018, eh? Three years of squeaky-bums all round.
** the reason the Tories carried through with the reduction in total numbers of seats in the last parliament, but not the boundary changes per se, was (I am told) that (a) the minority parties - all of them, LibDems included - would have prevented changes in Scotland, Wales & N.I but voted through the seat-reductions in England only, hah hah. So the changes were never put to the vote. But (b) the LibDems had signed up for the reduction in total number of seats and were prepared to stick with that. Tory strategists (pah!) felt that if the reductions went through (as they did) the Boundary Commissioners would be bound to make at least some rectification of the distribution of voters when implementing the new, reduced number of seats: a distinct second-best, and only of putative assistance in 2020.