What’s the one thing over which Islanders can be jealous of the residents of central Stoke-on-Trent? 

And no, I’m not talking about their easy access to Waterworld. 

As far as I’m concerned (and as a hardcore Island fan, I may be slightly biased), the Isle of Wight is better than central Stoke in almost every way.

But political nerds will be able to tell you that residents of central Stoke-on-Trent have one valuable thing: more than double the political power than that of Islanders when it comes to general elections. 

There are 54,551 voting age residents of central Stoke-on-Trent, compared to the Isle of Wight’s 111,716.

The views of less than 55,000 people are distilled to one person in Stoke, while Bob Seely is supposed to represent more than 100,000 people’s views.

And the Isle of Wight is a huge constituency as it stands. The largest in the country, and the next biggest is Bristol West, with 99,859 people of voting age.

Until the next election, that is.

For those of you who don’t know, the Boundaries Commission has recommended that the Island be split from top to bottom into two constituencies: Isle of Wight East and Isle of Wight West.

It means each MP will have a potential electorate of 56,805 or 54,911, rather than more than 100,000.

The reaction to the news has been surprising. I’ve heard fellow islanders worry that it will be divisive, and a letter to this very newspaper laid out concerns that the two MPs could cancel each other out.

I disagree. Two MPs, in my view, is fantastic news for the Island.

Politically, it makes us a bigger and more powerful player. With two MPs, governments are less likely to want to annoy or ignore Isle of Wight residents for fear of losing double the number of seats at an election.

It also increases the odds that you will be able to reach your MP, or that they will at least have a better understanding of the full area they represent. 

With half the number of constituents, and roughly half the distance to cover, it’s hard to see how your new MP won’t be more in-tune with the issues that are most pressing to you and your neighbours.

Whatever you think of mainstream politics, MPs’ local drop-in sessions can be invaluable when you need them.

And then there’s the fact that it’s more democratic. 

If the Island ends up with MPs of opposing parties, that’s great news for democracy.

Healthy debate over what’s best for our Island is only a good thing.

It also means that up until this point, hefty chunks of the island population simply haven’t had their views reflected in parliament. 

If one MP votes one way and the other another, that’s not their voices being cancelled out, it’s the whole of the Island getting their say.

And as for it being divisive? It’s not like anyone from West Wight visits the East Wight anyway — or vice versa...