HAMPSHIRE is set for a political shake-up after plans were put forward to create two separate constituencies in a borough.

The borough of Eastleigh currently only has one MP, Paul Holmes, whose office is close to the town centre.

Now though, under new proposals from the Boundary Commission for England, the parliamentary constituency could be split which would mean there would be an MP in Hedge End and a separate MP for Eastleigh.

In a virtual map on the commissions website, the proposals show that the new Hedge End constituency would cover the area from Hedge End and Boorley Green, all the way over to Titchfield and Meon.

The commission says on the website: “We encourage you to explore the interactive map and give us your views on our proposals through this website.”

But now the leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, Keith House, has said: “Splitting Eastleigh up this way and adding chunks of Test Valley, Winchester and Fareham to get two new constituencies is madness.

“Constituencies should be natural communities, not groups of numbers. I can’t see Park Gate voters liking having a ‘Hedge End’ MP. Better to name this ‘Hamble Valley’ from the start, but even better to scrap these plans and start again.”

The MP for Eastleigh, Paul Holmes added however: “It is important to stress that these are initial proposals and will be subject to a full consultation.

“My local party and I will look into the detail of what is proposed and analyse what this means. My main priority is to continue to work hard and represent everyone in the current Eastleigh constituency.”

Across England, of the 533 existing constituencies, fewer than 10 per cent will remain unchanged under the proposals.

By law, the commission is required to draw up seats with 69,724 to 77,062 electors – a condition which it said meant that widespread change was “inevitable”.

It stressed that the proposals, which open for an initial eight-week public consultation period, were provisional and it is not due to make its final recommendations to Parliament until July 2023.

Commission secretary Tim Bowden said: “Today’s proposals mark the first time people get to see what the new map of parliamentary constituencies might look like.

“We want to hear the views of the public to ensure that we get the new boundaries for parliamentary constituencies right.”