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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, Charlbury
Current constituency
Created 1983
Member of parliament David Cameron (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from Mid Oxfordshire
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.

The constituency is currently represented by the Prime Minister, David Cameron.[2]


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

The constituency is a safe seat for the Conservative Party. Its first MP was Douglas Hurd, who served as a cabinet minister under both Margaret Thatcher and John Major, and stood down in 1997.

Hurd was succeeded by Shaun Woodward at the 1997 general election. However, Woodward defected to the Labour Party in 1999,[3] 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. He has been the leader of the Conservative Party since December 2005, and Prime Minister since May 2010.


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; and the District of Cherwell ward of Yarnton.

2010-present: The District of West Oxfordshire.

As part of the Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies the Boundary Commission reported in 2004[4] that the seat of Witney could be composed from the entire district of West Oxfordshire.[5] Seven years later[6] the Commission recommended no change.[7]

In the late 19th century, the civil parish of Brampton East with Witney at its heart formed one part of the Woodstock constituency.[8]

Until 1974, much of the seat remained as part of the Woodstock and latterly Banbury constituency.[9] 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 bases 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[10] Party Notes
1983 Douglas Hurd Conservative Later Baron Hurd of Westwell; Cabinet minister 1984-95

Shaun Woodward

Conservative MP for St Helens South from 2001; later Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
1999[3] Labour
2001 David Cameron Conservative Leader of the Conservative Party 2005–present; Prime Minister 2010–present


General Election 2015: Witney[11][12][13][14][15][16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Wessex Regionalist Colin Roland Bex
Conservative David Cameron
Labour Duncan Enright
Liberal Democrat Andy Graham
No label Nathan Paul Handley
Land Party Deek Jackson
Green Stuart Sutherland MacDonald
National Health Action Clive Peedell
Reduce VAT in Sport Vivien Inez Saunders
Give Me Back Elmo Bobby Smith
UKIP Simon Strutt
Independent Christopher Tompson[17]
Election Political result Candidate Party Votes % ±%
General election, May 2010 [18][19]
Turnout: 57,769 (73.3%) +4.3
Conservative hold
Majority: 22,740 (39.4%) +12.5
Swing: 6.3% from Lib Dem to Con
David Cameron Conservative 33,973 58.8 +9.4
Dawn Barnes Liberal Democrat 11,233 19.4 −3.1
Joe Goldberg Labour 7,511 13.0 −9.4
Stuart Macdonald Green 2,385 4.1 +1.0
Count Nikolai Tolstoy UKIP 2,001 3.5 +0.9
Howling Laud Hope Monster Raving Loony 234 0.3 N/A
Paul Wesson Independent 166 0.3 N/A
Johnnie Cook Independent 151 0.3 N/A
Colin Roland Bex Wessex Regionalist 62 0.1 N/A
Aaron Barschak Independent 53 0.1 N/A
General Election, May 2005
Turnout: 53,869 (69.0%) +3.1
Conservative hold
Majority: 14,156 (26.3%) +10.1
Swing: 0.8% from Lib Dem to Con
David Cameron Conservative 26,571 49.3 +4.3
Liz Leffman Liberal Democrat 12,415 23.0 +2.7
Tony Gray Labour 11,845 22.0 −6.8
Richard Dossett-Davies Green 1,682 3.2 +0.9
Paul Wesson UKIP 1,356 2.5 +0.9
General election, June 2001
Turnout: 49,203 (65.9%) −10.8
Conservative hold
Majority: 7,973 (16.2%) +3.8
Swing: 1.9% from Lab to Con
David Cameron Conservative 22,153 45.0 +2.0
Michael Bartlet Labour 14,180 28.8 −1.8
Gareth Epps Liberal Democrat 10,000 20.3 +0.5
Mark Stevenson Green 1,100 2.2 +1.1
Barry Beadle Independent 1,003 2.0 N/A
Kenneth Dukes UKIP 767 1.6 +0.2
General election, May 1997 [20][21][22]
Turnout: 56,401 (76.7%)
Conservative hold
Majority: 7,028 (12.4%) −27.3
Swing: 13.7% from Con to Lab
Shaun Woodward Conservative 24,282 43.0 −14.8
Alexander J. Hollingsworth Labour 17,254 30.6 +12.5
Mrs. Angela Lawrence Liberal Democrat 11,202 19.9 −2.7
Geoffrey M. Brown Referendum Party 2,262 4.0 N/A
Michael Montgomery UKIP 765 1.4 N/A
Sue N. Chapple-Perrie Green 636 1.1 +0.0
General election, April 1992 [23]
Turnout: 64,306 (81.9%) +4.7
Conservative hold
Majority: 22,568 (35.1%) +3.4
Swing: 2.8% from Con to Lab
Douglas Hurd Conservative 36,256 56.4 −1.1
James Plaskitt Labour 13,688 21.3 +4.6
Ian M. Blair Liberal Democrat 13,393 20.8 −4.9
Ms. Charlotte Beckford Green 716 1.1 N/A
Ms. Sally B. Catling Natural Law 134 0.2 N/A
Mrs Marilyn C.C. Brown Independent Conservative 119 0.2 N/A
General election, June 1987 [24]
Electorate: 75,284
Turnout: 58,185 (77.3%) +2.6
Conservative hold
Majority: 18,464 (31.7%) +7.2
Swing: 3.6% from Lib to Con
Douglas Hurd Conservative 33,458 57.5 +2.1
Muriel Eda Burton Liberal 14,994 25.8 −5.1
Christine Frances Collette Labour 9,733 16.7 +2.9
General election, June 1983 [25]
New constituency
Electorate: 69,362
Turnout: 51,823 (74.7%)
Conservative win
Majority: 12,712 (24.5%)
Douglas Hurd Conservative 28,695 55.4 N/A
J. Baston Liberal 15,983 30.8 N/A
Carole B. Douse Labour 7,145 13.8 N/A

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. ^ "David Cameron - Witney Conservatives". Witney Conservatives. Witney Conservatives. 6 May 2010. Retrieved 22 Dec 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Anger as Tory defects to Labour". BBC News. BBC. 18 December 1999. Retrieved 5 Jan 2011. 
  4. ^ Review area- Oxfordshire Boundary Commission for England via National Archives
  5. ^ Final Recommendations - Oxfordshire BCE via National Archives
  6. ^ What's Proposed - Oxfordshire Boundary Commission for England
  7. ^ South West recommendations BCE
  8. ^ 1885 Boundary Commission map Vision of Britain
  9. ^ 1917 Boundary Commission map Vision of Britain
  10. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "W" (part 5)[self-published source][better source needed]
  11. ^ "Stuart Macdonald at Oxfordshire Green Party". Oxfordshire Green Party. 
  12. ^ Giselle Green. "I'm standing against Cameron in Witney, announces Dr Clive Peedell - NHA Party". NHA Party. 
  13. ^ "Duncan Enright". labour.org.uk. 
  14. ^ "Six UKIP candidates". Oxford Mail. 
  16. ^ http://www.westoxon.gov.uk/media/1045231/statements-of-persons-nominated-and-notice-of-poll-for-parliamentary-election-7-may-2015.pdf
  17. ^ "Candidates (PPCs) for Witney in the UK 2015 General Election". YourNextMP. 
  18. ^ Statement of Persons Nominated, West Oxfordshire District Council
  19. ^ "2010 Witney Election Result". BBC News. BBC. 6 May 2010. Retrieved 5 Jan 2011. 
  20. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1997. Politics Resources. 1 May 1997. Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  21. ^ C. Rallings & M. Thrasher, The Media Guide to the New Parliamentary Constituencies, p.178 (Plymouth: LGC Elections Centre, 1995)
  22. ^ The 1997 election result is calculated relative to the notional, not the actual, 1992 result.
  23. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 6 Dec 2010. 
  24. ^ "UK General Election results June 1987". Richard Kimber's Political Science Resources. Retrieved 5 February 2011. 
  25. ^ "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
Succeeded by
Camberwell and Peckham
Preceded by
Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath
Constituency represented by the Prime Minister
2010 – present
Succeeded by

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

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