People in Earley, Woodley and the surrounding area could soon have their own MP to represent them in Parliament.

The Boundary Commission for England has been consulting with residents on plans to redraw the country’s political map to ensure that MPs have a relatively similar constituencies population-wise.

The prospect of Earley and Woodley getting an MP seat was first revealed in 2021, as the commission set about redrawing the map so each constituency has between 69,724 and 77,062 electors.

Earley and Woodley has been created out of the existing Wokingham, Maidenhead and Reading constituencies.

As part of proposals, all current Earley, Woodley and Shinfield borough council wards have been transferred to the new constituency, as well as the Reading borough wards of Whitley and Church, and Sonning, which will be moved from the Maidenhead constituency.

Reading Chronicle: The new parliamentary seat of Earley and Woodley, due to be created in an Order of Council by the Privy Council. Credit: Boundary Commission For EnglandThe new parliamentary seat of Earley and Woodley, due to be created in an Order of Council by the Privy Council. Credit: Boundary Commission For England

The seat has been predicted to be a three-way battleground between the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

Councillor Pauline Jorgensen, the leader of the Wokingham Borough Conservatives, has already been selected as the candidate for the new seat.

Reacting to the Earley and Woodley constituency being created, cllr Jorgensen (Conservative, Hillside) said: “I would never take the electorate for granted, we will of course work hard and set out proposals across the area to make sure residents know we are fighting for them.

“Conservatives are there to represent local people and I’m really looking forward to going into Reading areas of Whitley and Church more.

“It’s all to play for, it’s going to be a hard three-way fight.”

READ MORE: Politicians make case to voters amid rumours of the creation of the Earley and Woodley MP seat in Berkshire 

Cllr Jorgensen was selected as the Conservative candidate at a private meeting on Friday, June 23.

Reading Chronicle: Wokingham Borough Council Conservative group leader Pauline JorgensenWokingham Borough Council Conservative group leader Pauline Jorgensen

Commenting on her selection, she said: “I’m very pleased to be selected, and I’ll do my absolute best for residents.

“I do think we have a got a reasonable chance of winning in it.

“It’s definitely a three way fight.

“It’s a great opportunity to bring those areas and the ideas of people together and get a real focus on them, so it’s a good development.”

The creation of the seat has also been welcomed by Cllr Andy Croy (Labour, Bulmershe & Whitegates), who stated that it should be created in recognition of the population growth in Wokingham Borough.

Reading Chronicle: Councillor Andy Croy (Labour, Bulmershe & Whitegates). Credit: Wokingham LabourCouncillor Andy Croy (Labour, Bulmershe & Whitegates). Credit: Wokingham Labour

He said: “I think an extra Parliamentary seat in Berkshire is long overdue. The county has grown a lot, and Wokingham Borough in particular.

“So having two members to ourselves is positive given that increase.

“Shinfield has seen a massive growth in population.

“In terms of who’s going to win it, no one will take any voters for granted, we will be campaigning hard.

“We will be selecting a candidate hopefully later this year, and once they are selected we will continue to work hard for residents.

“To me it’s clearly a two way fight between the Conservatives and Labour, so I’m hoping for a Labour win but we will not be taking anyone’s votes for granted.”

READ MORE: Whitley taken out of new Reading MP seat as attempts to get third seat fail

Political projection website Electoral Calculus predicts Labour has an 81 per cent of winning the seat.

But both cllrs Jorgensen and Croy noted that the calculus uses national opinion polling to project results, with Labour currently polling 15-20 per cent above the Conservatives.

While there is scepticism as to how that will pan out locally, Labour were remarkably able to seize Bracknell Forest Council in the 2023 local elections.

There were reports that Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens entered into an informal ‘progressive alliance’ in Bracknell.

Cllr Croy said Labour activists in Bracknell focused on the areas they were most likely to win.

And due to the perceived competitiveness of the Earley and Woodley seat, it is unlikely that such an alliance would be replicated.

Cllr Stephen Newton, the chair of the Earley and Shinfield Liberal Democrats, stated that moving areas from the Wokingham constituency to the new Earley and Woodley constituency could cause problems for Sir John Redwood, the Conservative MP for Wokingham.

READ MORE: Next general election prediction shows Conservatives holding on to Wokingham

Cllr  Newton (Liberal Democrats, Maiden Erlegh) explained: “The selection of cllr Jorgensen for the Conservatives is extremely interesting.

“She will fighting to win and that will take resources away from Sir John Redwood’s campaign.

“Previously she would be working very hard for him.

“That may help us in terms of the situation in Wokingham.”

Reading Chronicle: Councillor Stephen Newton (Liberal Democrats, Maiden Erlegh). Credit: Wokingham Liberal DemocratsCouncillor Stephen Newton (Liberal Democrats, Maiden Erlegh). Credit: Wokingham Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats have not selected a candidate for Earley and Woodley yet, but cllr Newton stressed that it would be “all to play for” and that the Lib Dems would not take anyone’s votes for granted.

The parliamentary seats are due to be approved at a meeting of the Privy Council, an advisory body to King Charles III, where an ‘Order of Council’ will be made to change the constituencies.

The newly shaped Wokingham constituency referred to earlier loses Earley borough wards and villages in West Berkshire but gains wards in Finchampstead and Wokingham Borough’s northern villages near the Thames.