Sanctus – The Electoral Commission today announced that the number of the seats the House of Deputies will have for the next election is 460, a reduction of 339 seats. The 42% reduction comes almost four years after federalisation, with the next election being the first for the House of Deputies in a federal Sanctaria.
Secretary of State for Devolution and Governmental Affairs, Ben Jackson, reacted to the Commission’s announcement today saying that the “government would pass the necessary legislation forthwith to give effect to their determination”. Sources from the government tell the Sanctarian National Times that the number of seats slashed is lower than they expected, with many in the Democratic Left Party assuming the next House of Deputies would have 400 seats.
In terms of seats lost, all states will see, as expected, a reduction in the number of their federal representation in the House of Deputies:
Aquitanium: 118 => 71
Corpus: 21 => 12
Galvium: 122 => 73
Glorionis: 110 => 67
Haven: 16 => 9
Novum Aeternum: 125 => 74
Novum Limium: 115 => 69
Sanctus: 30 => 17
Terra Monticolarum: 112 => 68
As a result of these seat reductions, all constituencies have been redrawn to now total 460 instead of 799. A full in-depth review of these changes will naturally be the sole focus of the various political parties over the next few days. The Commission’s report also outlined that each parliamentary constituency will be called a “canton”, rather than naming them after local neighbourhoods or geographic features, to avoid any perception of place favouritism or supremacy.
Early assumptions are that the Christian Union Party and Independents will be the most heavily affected by the changes, with the Green Party and the New Sanctaria Party also likely facing a significant reduction in vote share, with voters in these larger constituencies likely to already be SCP or DLP voters.
Although still tentatively scheduled for December, the publishment of Commission’s report and subsequent constituency changes are the soft start for this year’s federal House election. Parties will over the next few weeks digest the changes and begin to pick candidates for each of the seats.
GWEN COPLEY, Political Correspondent