The Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill received its Second Reading and was passed for further consideration at Westminster on 9 February 2004.  The Bill will keep the composition of the Scottish Parliament at 129 Members by removing the link in the Scotland Act 1998 that makes the constituencies of the Scottish Parliament the same as those for Westminster. The Bill will also provide for the separate review of the Scottish Parliament constituencies and regions by the Electoral Commission, which takes over the responsibilities of the boundary commission after the completion of the current review cycle. Without these provisions, there would be no mechanism for reviewing the boundaries for the Scottish Parliament constituencies. 

During the debate the Secretary of State for Scotland announced the establishment of an independent commission to consider the impact of having non-coterminous boundaries for Holyrood and Westminster constituencies, and at questions of electoral systems, including proportional representation.  Mr Darling said:

As the House will know