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Witney
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Witney in Oxfordshire.
Outline map
Location of Oxfordshire within England.
County Oxfordshire
Electorate 78,220 (December 2010)[1]
Major settlements Witney, Carterton,Chipping Norton and Charlbury
Current constituency
Created 1983
Member of parliament David Cameron (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from Mid Oxfordshire and Banbury[2]
Overlaps
European Parliament constituency South East England

Witney is a county constituency in Oxfordshire represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election, and was created for the 1983 general election. It is a safe Conservative Party seat.

The constituency has been represented since 2001 by David Cameron, who has been Conservative leader since 2005 and Prime Minister since 2010.[3] On 22 February 2016, Cameron announced to parliament that he would resign as Prime Minister before the next general election, but would continue to stand as MP for Witney.

History[edit]

Chart of Witney election results since 1983.
Chart of Witney election results since 1983

The constituency's first MP was Douglas Hurd, who served as a cabinet minister under both Margaret Thatcher and John Major, and retired in 1997. Hurd was succeeded by Shaun Woodward at the 1997 general election. However, Woodward defected to the Labour Party in 1999,[4] and Witney unexpectedly had a Labour MP. Woodward chose not to stand in Witney as a Labour candidate and moved to the Labour safe seat of St Helens South instead, following the practice of Alan Howarth in 1997.

At the 2001 general election, David Cameron was elected as MP for Witney and has held the seat since then. Cameron was re-elected to a fourth term as MP for the constituency at the 2015 general election with a majority of 25,155, the highest in his political career; on that occasion his Conservative Party won a surprise majority in the House of Commons, taking 330 seats to the opposition Labour Party's 232, and enabling them to become a majority government.

Boundaries[edit]

1983-1997: The District of West Oxfordshire wards of Ascott and Shipton, Aston Bampton and Standlake, Bampton, Bladon and Cassington, Brize Norton and Curbridge, Burford, Carterton North, Carterton South, Chadlington, Charlbury, Chipping Norton, Clanfield and Shilton, Combe and Stonesfield, Ducklington, Enstone, Eynsham, Filkins and Langford, Finstock and Leafield, Freeland and Hanborough, Hailey, Kingham, Milton-under-Wychwood, Minster Lovell, North Leigh, Rollright, Stanton Harcourt, Witney East, Witney North, Witney South, Witney West, and Woodstock, and the District of Cherwell wards of Gosford, North West Kidlington, South East Kidlington, and Yarnton.

1997-2010: The District of West Oxfordshire (the wards of Ascott and Shipton, Aston Bampton and Standlake, Bampton, Bartons and Tackley, Bladon and Cassington, Brize Norton and Curbridge, Burford, Carterton North, Carterton South, Chadlington, Charlbury, Chipping Norton, Clanfield and Shilton, Combe and Stonesfield, Ducklington, Enstone, Eynsham, Filkins and Langford, Finstock and Leafield, Freeland and Hanborough, Hailey, Kingham, Milton-under-Wychwood, Minster Lovell, North Leigh, Rollright, Stanton Harcourt, Witney East, Witney North, Witney South, Witney West, Woodstock, and Wootton), and the District of Cherwell ward of Yarnton.

2010-present: The District of West Oxfordshire (the wards of Alvescot and Filkins, Ascott and Shipton, Bampton and Clanfield, Brize Norton and Shilton, Burford, Carterton North East, Carterton North West, Carterton South, Chadlington and Churchill, Charlbury and Finstock, Chipping Norton, Ducklington, Eynsham and Cassington, Freeland and Hanborough, Hailey, Minster Lovell and Leafield, Kingham, Rollright and Enstone, Milton-under-Wychwood, North Leigh, Standlake, Aston and Stanton Harcourt, Stonesfield and Tackley, The Bartons, Witney Central, Witney East, Witney North, Witney South, Witney West, and Woodstock and Bladon).

As part of the Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies the Boundary Commission reported in 2004[5] that the seat of Witney could be composed from the entire district of West Oxfordshire.[6] Seven years later[7] the Commission recommended no change.[8]

In the late 19th century, the Bampton East petty sessional division, with Witney at its heart, formed one part of the Woodstock constituency.[9]

Until 1974, much of the seat remained as part of the Woodstock and latterly Banbury constituency.[10] From 1974 to 1983, the area was included in the Mid Oxfordshire seat along with parts of Bullingdon and Ploughley[citation needed]. Since 1983, Witney has been a full parliamentary seat in its own right and comprises the whole of the District of West Oxfordshire with surrounding villages attached until 1997.

Carterton is the second largest populated town with 14,000[citation needed] and is situated alongside RAF Brize Norton which is vital to the local economy, being one of the largest and busiest Royal Air Force stations in the country[citation needed].

For the 2010 general election, the Witney Parliamentary Constituency boundaries changed and it become co-terminous with the boundaries of West Oxfordshire District Council.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[11] Party Notes
1983 Douglas Hurd Conservative Later Baron Hurd of Westwell; Cabinet minister 1984–95
1997

Shaun Woodward

Conservative MP for St Helens South from 2001; later Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
1999[4] Labour
2001 David Cameron Conservative Leader of the Conservative Party 2005–present; Prime Minister 2010–present

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: Witney[12][13][14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Cameron 35,201 60.2 +1.4
Labour Duncan Enright 10,046 17.2 +4.2
UKIP Simon Strutt 5,352 9.2 +5.7
Liberal Democrat Andy Graham 3,953 6.8 -12.7
Green Stuart Sutherland MacDonald 2,970 5.1 +0.9
National Health Action Clive Peedell 616 1.1 N/A
Wessex Regionalist Colin Roland Bex 110 0.2 +0.1
Independent Christopher Tompson 94 0.2 N/A
Reduce VAT in Sport Vivien Inez Saunders 56 0.1 N/A
Give Me Back Elmo Bobby Smith 37 0.1 N/A
Land Party Deek Jackson 35 0.1 N/A
Independent Nathan Paul Handley 12 0.02 N/A
Majority 25,155 43.0 +3.6
Turnout 58,482 73.3 +0.00
Conservative hold Swing -1.4
General Election 2010: Witney[15][16][17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Cameron 33,973 58.8 +9.4
Liberal Democrat Dawn Barnes 11,233 19.4 -3.1
Labour Joe Goldberg 7,511 13.0 -9.4
Green Stuart Sutherland MacDonald 2,385 4.1 +1.0
UKIP Count Nikolai Tolstoy 2,001 3.5 +0.9
Monster Raving Loony Howling Laud Hope 234 0.3 N/A
Independent Paul Wesson 166 0.3 N/A
Independent Johnnie Cook 151 0.3 N/A
Wessex Regionalist Colin Roland Bex 62 0.1 N/A
Independent Aaron Barschak 53 0.1 N/A
Majority 22,740 39.4 +12.5
Turnout 57,769 73.3 +4.3
Conservative hold Swing +6.3

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: Witney[18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Cameron 26,571 49.3 +4.3
Liberal Democrat Liz Leffman 12,415 23.0 +2.7
Labour Tony Gray 11,845 22.0 -6.8
Green Richard Dossett-Davies 1,682 3.2 +0.9
UKIP Paul Wesson 1,356 2.5 +0.9
Majority 14,156 26.3 +10.1
Turnout 53,869 69.0 +3.1
Conservative hold Swing +0.8
General Election 2001: Witney[19]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Cameron 22,153 45.0 +2.0
Labour Michael Bartlet 14,180 28.8 -1.8
Liberal Democrat Gareth Epps 10,000 20.3 +0.5
Green Mark Stevenson 1,100 2.2 +1.1
Independent Barry Beadle 1,003 2.0 N/A
UKIP Kenneth Dukes 767 1.6 +0.2
Majority 7,973 16.2 +3.8
Turnout 49,203 65.9 -10.8
Conservative hold Swing +1.9

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Witney[20][21][22][23]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Shaun Woodward 24,282 43.0 -14.8
Labour Alexander J Hollingsworth 17,254 30.6 +12.5
Liberal Democrat Angela Lawrence 11,202 19.9 -2.7
Referendum Geoffrey Brown 2,262 4.0 N/A
UKIP Michael Montgomery 765 1.4 N/A
Green Sue N Chapple-Perrie 636 1.1 +0.00
Majority 7,028 12.4 -27.3
Turnout 56,401 76.7 -4.2
Conservative hold Swing -13.7
General Election 1992: Witney[24][25]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Douglas Hurd 36,256 56.4 -1.1
Labour James Plaskitt 13,688 21.3 +4.6
Liberal Democrat Ian M Blair 13,393 20.8 -4.9
Green Charlotte Beckford 716 1.1 N/A
Natural Law Sally B Catling 134 0.2 N/A
Independent Conservative Marilyn CC Brown 119 0.2 N/A
Majority 22,568 35.1 +3.4
Turnout 64,306 81.9 +4.7
Conservative hold Swing -2.8

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: Witney[26][27]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Douglas Hurd 33,458 57.5 +2.1
Liberal Muriel Eda Burton 14,994 25.8 -5.1
Labour Christine Frances Collette 9,733 16.7 +2.9
Majority 18,464 31.7 +7.2
Turnout 58,185 77.3 +2.6
Conservative hold Swing +3.6
General Election 1983: Witney[28][29]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Douglas Hurd 28,695 55.4 N/A
Liberal Philip John Baston 15,983 30.8 N/A
Labour Carole B Douse 7,145 13.8 N/A
Majority 12,712 24.5 N/A
Turnout 51,823 74.7 N/A
Conservative win (new seat)

Neighbouring constituencies[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Electorate Figures – Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "'Witney', June 1983 up to May 1997". ElectionWeb Project. Cognitive Computing Limited. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  3. ^ "David Cameron". Witney Conservatives. 6 May 2010. Retrieved 22 December 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Anger as Tory defects to Labour". BBC News. 18 December 1999. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  5. ^ Review area- Oxfordshire Boundary Commission for England via National Archives
  6. ^ Final Recommendations – Oxfordshire BCE via National Archives
  7. ^ What's Proposed – Oxfordshire Boundary Commission for England
  8. ^ South West recommendations BCE
  9. ^ 1885 Boundary Commission map Vision of Britain
  10. ^ 1917 Boundary Commission map Vision of Britain
  11. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "W" (part 5)[self-published source][better source needed]
  12. ^ "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  13. ^ http://www.westoxon.gov.uk/media/1045231/statements-of-persons-nominated-and-notice-of-poll-for-parliamentary-election-7-may-2015.pdf
  14. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/politics/constituencies/E14001046
  15. ^ "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  16. ^ Statement of Persons Nominated, West Oxfordshire District Council
  17. ^ "2010 Witney Election Result". BBC News. 6 May 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  18. ^ "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  19. ^ "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  20. ^ "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  21. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1997. Politics Resources. 1 May 1997. Retrieved 7 January 2011. 
  22. ^ C. Rallings & M. Thrasher, The Media Guide to the New Parliamentary Constituencies, p.178 (Plymouth: LGC Elections Centre, 1995)
  23. ^ The 1997 election result is calculated relative to the notional, not the actual, 1992 result.
  24. ^ "Election Data 1992". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  25. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 6 December 2010. 
  26. ^ "Election Data 1987". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  27. ^ "UK General Election results June 1987". Richard Kimber's Political Science Resources. Retrieved 5 February 2011. 
  28. ^ "Election Data 1983". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  29. ^ "UK General Election results June 1983". Richard Kimber's Political Science Resources. Retrieved 5 February 2011. 
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Folkestone and Hythe
Constituency represented by the Leader of the Opposition
2005–2010
Succeeded by
Camberwell and Peckham
Preceded by
Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath
Constituency represented by the Prime Minister
2010 – present
Succeeded by
incumbent

Coordinates: 51°48′N 1°30′W / 51.80°N 1.50°W / 51.80; -1.50


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