Of all the changes to parliamentary constituencies to Swindon and Wiltshire, the most seismic has to be that affecting North Wiltshire.

As currently set up, the constituency stretches from just west of Bath, wrapping around the towns of  Corsham and Chippenham, all the way to Marston Meysey near Cirencester, taking in the towns and villages of Malmesbury, Cricklade, Royal Wootton Bassett and Minety.

But at the next election is will have become South Cotswolds, with Wiltshire not even in the name.

And it will have relinquished a large swathe of its southern area, with Calne, Lyneham and Royal Wootton Bassett all forming the new constituency of Chippenham.

Instead, to meet the criteria for the correct size the constituency will also pick up the southern parts of the old Cotswold constituency, including Cirencester, Tetbury and Kemble in Gloucestershire.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Map showing all the wards included in new South Cotswolds constituency Map showing all the wards included in new South Cotswolds constituency (Image: Boundary Commission for England)

It means the MP who wins the seat might be considered the representative of King Charles, as his Highgrove home near Tetbury is in the new South Cotswolds patch.

(Fun fact: apparently there’s nothing in the constitution to stop King Charles or Queen Camilla voting – but they don’t as a matter of convention.)

The combination of the southern half of The Costwolds constituency, which has been a Conservative stronghold since its creation in 1997, and the northern half of North Wiltshire, which has been an equally easy win for the Conservatives since its creation in 1983, would appear to suggest this seat can be confidently put into the blue column.

But with Rishi Sunak’s government struggling in the polls and at by-elections, the prospect of a Conservative hold, while likely, is not certain.

Pollsters YouGov have crunched some numbers based on the 2019 election results, and they predict that the Conservative MP for North Swindon, James Gray would hold it.

But the pollsters give Mr Gray a 35 per cent vote share, way down on the high 50s and 60 per cent shares he took in the last three elections, and down on his worst performance, winning in 1997 as a new candidate when he took the seat with 44 per cent of the vote.

In YouGov’s model the Liberal Democrat candidate Dr Roz Savage would be Mr Gray’s closest challenger, she is predicted a 27 per cent share of the vote.

Labour come third with 20 per cent. Reform UK are allocated nine per cent and the Green Party seven per cent.

Tactical voting by voters who lean towards the Green, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties could see a combination of votes enough to defeat Mr Gray’s 35 per cent, and according to You Gov, if he took all of Reform’s nine per cent, that would take him to 44 per cent.

That’s normally enough to win a seat with multiple candidates under first past the post – but it’s not impregnable, especially if tactical voting becomes common.

So far three candidates have been announced for the constituency, Mr Gray for the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats’ Dr Savage and Brendan Wilde for Reform UK.

The general election must be held by 28 January 2025, which is 25 working days after the fifth anniversary of the first meeting of this Parliament- 17 December 2019.

After revoking the law that fixes Parliamentary terms to five years, the Conservative government put the power to dissolve Parliament and call an election back into the hands of the Prime Minister.

As the date by which the next election must be called approaches speculation mounts as to when it might be. In January the PM Rishi Sunak  said he expected to call in in “the second half” of 2024.