Maptitude for Redistricting
Maptitude for Redistricting UK is the ideal solution for the redrawing of UK Parliamentary boundaries. Maptitude can manage any number of jurisdictions and variables. These can include demographics, electoral registration information, official government sources, election results and private polling statistics. Further, Maptitude supports all voting areas including wards, electoral divisions, and constituencies. Maptitude excels in the creation of robust constituency boundaries that can be tailored to meet specific criteria and modified to arrive at optimal solutions.
• Create, contest, justify, and defend boundary revisions
• Supports all voting areas: wards, electoral divisions, constituencies
• Manage local government boundaries and parliamentary boundaries
• Consider existing boundaries as well as any natural or urban features
Phone: +1 617-527-4700
The software's ease-of-use ensures that anyone can participate in the redistricting cycle, including boundary commissions, individuals, academics, MPs, constituency party organisations and national political parties. Maptitude is the only software that provides a proven, justifiable and robust way to create or analyse Boundary Commission proposals, and provide serious authoritative alternatives to existing or proposed plans. Users can be confident in the flexible functionality, utility and authoritativeness of the outputs of Maptitude for Redistricting.
The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act requires the redistricting of all parliamentary constituencies, along with a reduction in the number of constituencies. The Act amends the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 which will result in changes to the boundaries and number of UK constituencies, and the processes for their review. These changes include:
- Reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600, thereby increasing the average electorate in each constituency to around 76,000
- Requiring the electorate of each constituency to be within 5% of the national average, thereby reducing the difference between the largest and smallest electorates to around 7,500
- Making an exception to the electorate rule for the constituencies of Orkney and Shetland and Na h-Eileanan an Iar despite their small voting populace
- Creating two constituencies for the Isle of Wight
- Making an exception to the electorate rule for any constituency larger than 12,000 square kilometres
- Putting a maximum area limit on constituencies of 13,000 square kilometres
- Reducing the weight to be given to boundaries of local authority areas when designing constituencies
- Making explicit that no constituency can cross national boundaries (that is, between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)
- De-coupling the Westminster seats in Wales from their National Assembly equivalents
- Increasing the frequency of reviews so that they take place every 5 years
- Improving the opportunity for making written submissions concerning proposed boundaries by lengthening the time period available from 4 to 12 weeks
- Replace "Local Inquiries" with "Public Hearings" in the review process
- Completing the redistricting cycle by May 2015 before the next national parliamentary elections
- Allowing the Boundary Commission for England to consider the boundaries of the European Parliament regions
The UK does not have a history of legal challenges to redistricting plans as laid down by the new Act. Challenges may now cause judicial review of specific boundary commission decisions as well as to variations in the overall national redistricting plan. The issues relevant to challenges would be (a) proof of availability of feasible alternatives that achieve smaller variations and observe other guidelines; and (b) claims that proposals are politically partisan (even if inadvertently so.) Maptitude for Redistricting has been used extensively to demonstrate the legality of boundary changes in the USA, and enables those contesting the changes to do so professionally and within a reasonable amount of time.
While the Electoral Commission has been effective in creating equal seats, the process has introduced biased redistricting that has gone unchallenged. Availability of US-style redistricting software* (of which Maptitude is the best-of-breed) will enable serious partisan and non-partisan (interest group, local group, etc.) opposition to be mounted, while enabling boundary commissions to robustly defend new delineations.
Maptitude for Redistricting software has been used for decades in the USA, and now commands a supermajority of the state legislatures, political parties, and public interest groups. The redistricting process in the USA supports the most democratic and transparent electoral boundary revision procedures anywhere in the world, and Maptitude for Redistricting is the undisputed software leader in this market.
Maptitude for Redistricting allows the creation of districts using any boundary geography and hierarchical organization. A user can work with EU Parliamentary constituencies all the way down to the county, borough, district, council, and ward levels. Other factors can also be considered, such as district compactness, coherence, shape, community cohesion, access and area.
The new redistricting cycle in the UK demands software that produces reliable, verifiable results. Such software must be capable of analysing and drawing proposed districts as part of a strategy to design, influence and if necessary challenge redistricting decisions and to explore issues such as whether “safe” constituencies have become more competitive. Maptitude for Redistricting is the only software that meets these rigours.
Caliper Corporation provides extensive training and support services, including training held at your facility, training held remotely via web conference, and instructor-led training periodically in London, UK.
- Rallings et al. (2004) State Politics and Policy Quarterly: 4:4, 470-90
- Johnston (1982). "Redistricting by Independent Commissions: A Perspective from Britain" Annals of the Association of American Geographers 72:4, 457 - 470
- Policy Forum: http://www.britac.ac.uk/policy/Policy-forum-electoral-boundaries.cfm