Belfast could lose a constituency under proposals

Under new Boundary Commission proposals, Belfast could lose one of its four parliamentary constituencies as part of an extensive redrawing of Northern Ireland's electoral map.

The proposals, part of a UK-wide process aimed at reducing the overall size of the House of Commons from 650 to 600 MPs, would see the number of seats in Northern Ireland fall from 18 to 17.

Although in the early stages and still susceptible to change, the plans have gained a mixed reaction, with Lord Empey, chairman of the Ulster Unionists Party, saying that the proposals had ‘brought many surprises’.

Under the proposals, which were first outlined in 2011, England will see its number of seats reduced from 533 to 501; Wales from 40 to 29; and Scotland from 59 to 53.