The storm might be starting to calm down – but make no mistake, Monday’s boundary review has got MPs really riled.
The consensus is that the commission was far more radical than anyone expected. County boundaries have been crossed, rivers run through the middle of seats and MPs may have to travel for up to an hour to cross constituencies.
One person who has been involved in the whole process told me the anger on Monday was extreme: “Monday was really bad. It was like the MPs were on drugs.”
He added that those who were disgruntled fell into two camps: those who were genuinely worried about their seat and those who just liked to moan. Parties can do nothing about the latter, but there are too many of the former, even among the Tories, for the government to rest easy.
That’s one view. Mine is that hose who are upset on the Tory side fall into two slightly different camps: those who are worried they might lose their seat and those who feel a historic seat is being ripped apart. Mark Field is one of the latter – his central London seat remains safe but he doesn’t like the fact that the City of London is now going to join Islington South. These people are likely to be somewhat placated by initial analysis suggesting the Tories would have be very close to a majority in 2010 under the new boundaries.
But for those who are facing an almighty battle for their seat, Tory whips now face the possibility of them rebelling not just on the boundaries bill when it comes to the Commons in 2013, but, if they feel they have nothing to lose, on any other bill they choose.