The MP for Hampstead and St John’s Wood

buckTO the west of Camden, Conservative schemers are rubbing chins, putting on their pensive faces and beginning to wonder about how the north of Westminster, and its neighbouring patches, could be divvied up in a parliamentary boundary review. You don’t need me to tell you how Westminster’s Tory campaigners feel frustrated at their ongoing inability to unseat Labour MP Karen Buck. They long for the days of Sir John Wheeler’s reign in Westminster North.

Despite Buck’s repeat success since 1997, her majority of 2,000 votes or so is not in the supersafe territory, while in neighbouring Hampstead and Kilburn, Tulip Siddiq’s lead is even less: she won by 1,138 votes in May. Why is Tulip’s result relevant to those hoping to finally turn things blue again? Conservative strategists, with an increasing lack of subtlety, are beginning to dream that a boundary review could ultimately lead to the formation of a new constituency called “Hampstead and St John’s Wood”, a playing field which they believe could make things easier for them.

There are so many ifs and buts still to resolve, but potential candidates for this new territory are said to already be making their interest known with a friendly chat here and a wink there. There would be quite a queue if the boundaries fall the way the Tories want them to.

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