Voters Limits

Voters' Limits by John Nelson
560 Pages, A4, (297mm x 210mm) portrait format.
ISBN: 978-0-9571456-2-7 (hardback)
Price: £79.00
Published by Adlestrop Press
Release date March 11th 2015.

With 610 illustrations and 55 maps this book clearly explains the complex nature and history of London's Parliamentary constituencies, along with biographies of all London's MPs, every constituency and its boundaries - with all the changes made down the years. The results from all General elections are also shown in detail.

The ultimate reference book for London's MPs, the constituencies, and how the boundaries were affected by social changes.

This book tells the story of the evolution of the Parliamentary constituencies of London, from their earliest beginnings until the present day. Extensions to the franchise and the growth of the metropolis in Victorian times instituted a continuing requirement for representation. This is a story that follows the expansion of London itself and charts the progress of politics within the Greater London Area.

London advanced steadily as the capital of the British nation; its geographical position containing the seaward crossing of the River Thames favoured this. The spread of the canals and the building of the railways to serve the largest and most populous commercial centre in the country allowed a conurbation to grow. As the population increase continued more housing, more representation, and more transport were required, each contributing to the other.

Among London’s MPs were some of the great political figures, as well as those who were hardly known outside their area. Each London MP has biographical notes. The development of the constituencies is charted with the social changes, and world-altering events that governed the ebb and flow of population, like the wartime Blitz in the 1940s, where populations shrank from previously busy areas. Likewise, the march of technology that has also created population shift has demanded the creation of new constituencies, which are clearly explained.

To be more easily understood, the description of London is grouped by county, and each constituency in each county is followed in groups of dates, set by General Election, or by major boundary changes. These changes were inevitable, and of course were politically sensitive. The Reform Acts and the Boundary Commission’s work with their effects on the constituencies is detailed clearly.

The book is put together with unique maps and informative tables to illustrate clearly the changes that were taking place at the time. Street scenes from times gone by, and work and housing that determined size and placement of constituency boundaries are shown in pictures. The steady influence of transport as the catalyst for change is weaved into the story. For the student of politics this book is fascinating, bringing a new understanding to the workings of democracy.