2015 Result:
Conservative: 30749 (53%)
Labour: 12354 (21.3%)
Lib Dem: 3440 (5.9%)
Green: 2686 (4.6%)
UKIP: 8050 (13.9%)
NHA: 729 (1.3%)
MAJORITY: 18395 (31.7%)

Category: Very safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Oxfordshire. Most of the Cherwell council area.

Main population centres: Banbury, Bicester.

Profile: The northernmost seat in Oxfordshire, covering most of Cherwell district council. The main towns are Banbury and the fast growing commuter town Bicester. Its position on the M40 and the rail line into Marylebone makes it a popular and affluent commuter area for both London and Birmingham. There is a military prescence from the Royal Logistic Corps and the former RAF station at Bicester.

Politics: A solidly Conservative seat, held by the party since 1922.

Current MP
VICTORIA PRENTIS (Conservative) Born Banbury, daughter of former MP Tim Boswell. Barrister. First elected as MP for Banbury in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 29703 (53%)
Lab: 10773 (19%)
LDem: 11476 (20%)
UKIP: 2806 (5%)
Oth: 1483 (3%)
MAJ: 18227 (32%)
Con: 26382 (47%)
Lab: 15585 (28%)
LDem: 10076 (18%)
GRN: 1590 (3%)
Oth: 2576 (5%)
MAJ: 10797 (19%)
Con: 23271 (45%)
Lab: 18052 (35%)
LDem: 8216 (16%)
GRN: 1281 (2%)
Oth: 695 (1%)
MAJ: 5219 (10%)
Con: 25076 (43%)
Lab: 20339 (35%)
LDem: 9761 (17%)
Oth: 1025 (2%)
MAJ: 4737 (8%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
VICTORIA PRENTIS (Conservative) Born Banbury, daughter of former MP Tim Boswell. Barrister.
JOHN HOWSON (Liberal Democrat) Educated at LSE. Research fellow and former teacher. Contested Reading East 2005, Thames Valley Police election 2012.
Comments - 88 Responses on “Banbury”
  1. I’m not really sure how to answer that LOL.

  2. This seat has one of the biggest electorates in the country. Even if the seat is split to help create a 7th Oxfordshire seat, it is hard to see how anything other than safe Conservative seats result.

    The Labour Party has some county councillors in Banbury, but with tiny majorities compared to the Conservative strength in the more rural areas.

    In the 1950 General Election, Labour were less than 2000 votes away from winning here, whilst they held neighbouring Buckingham and Wycombe, which were similar areas.

  3. Most of the Labour votes probably come from Banbury. A seat containing just Bicester and villages would be very safe indeed for the Tories.

  4. “James Cracknell in the running as Banbury MP?”

    I bet Boris hopes so.

  5. He wasn’t shortlisted in Uxbridge & S Ruislip so he isn’t a concern to Boris any more.

  6. not sure where andy js has been this past week. the uxbridge selection is tomorrow and Boris Johnson is in the last 4, and James Cracknell didn’t apply for the seat…contrary to Smithson, I can’t see how Boris isn’t selected.

    On Saturday morning, barring a totally unexpected reversal, Boris Johnson will be the prospective parliamentary candidate for Uxbridge and will be one step nearer to his goal of becoming “world king”.

  7. ‘James Cracknell in the running as Banbury MP?”


    He might look a typical Cameroon but I’ve heard he’s very right-wing – more Douglas Raab than Zack Goldsmichdt – and will make an interesting addition to the Tory backbenches

    He’s a dead cert if he wins the selection here

  8. Is ‘Zack Goldsmichdt’ the MP for Berlin West or similar?

  9. “Is ‘Zack Goldsmichdt’ the MP for Berlin West or similar?”

    And presumably Douglas Raab is a weird fusion of Douglas Carswell and Dominic Raab (pass the mind bleach please).

    Tim – if you mix up names to this degree before you are even 40 you are going to be one hell of a forgetful grandpa

  10. It was funny when Tim referred to Lord Hurd as “Dougie Hurd” recently though.
    Though we have had a lot of Jewish MPs since WWII & there are still a good dozen or so in the House now (not counting Goldsmith, who is only half Jewish), there have in fact been very few with German-sounding names. One of the more obvious ones has been David Weitzman (Labour MP for Hackney N & Stoke Newington & its predecessors, 1945-1979) though we do still have Sir Gerald Kaufman.

  11. And of course Tony Von Marlow…lol

    Rudi Vis always struck me as a strange name for a British Parliamentarian

  12. If Rudi Vis is British I’m a Dutchman

  13. Rudi Vis was Dutch-born, I think he had dual nationality, Gisela Stuart is German-born but naturalised British. She uses the surname of her first husband

    Not sure about Brooks Newmark – American-born

    Oh – and how about Natascha Engel? Born in Berlin, I believe.

  14. Surprised Merseymike omitted William van Straubenzee, whose homosexual leanings were quite well known at Westminster.

  15. Oh, yes – used to be MP for Wokingham. Dripping wet moderate Tory. And devoted High Churchman!

  16. Definitely was something about the High Church in those days – remember Tom Driberg was devoted to it. A certain type of gay was perhaps attracted to its ornate ritualism.

  17. It was a safe space, HH, at a time when there weren’t many. Some of the very best Anglo-Catholic high church priests were gay. Yes, the ritualism did appeal (I was once of that faith myself….)

  18. Very interesting to hear that. Naturally a lot of Driberg’s wider circle were also of the High Church persuasion – especially the Brideshead generation of Oxford undergraduates (Auden, Betjemen etc), and the Bloomsbury set including Woolf and Keynes. A strong theme of homosexuality does seem to run through it. Does the High Church still exist in any meaningful way, and are there any famous devotees left?

  19. Well, its far less strong than it was, in terms of its numbers within the CofE. There was something of a split over the women priests issue too – the church I once attended actually has a woman priest now, from a high church tradition!
    Eric Heffer MP was very much a High churchman, so its by no means restricted to gay men, and I think Chris Bryant and Ben Bradshaw are both ‘churchy’ Labour MP’s. Both gay as well, of course!
    Princess Margaret also had a strong preference for high churchmanship.

  20. Very interesting – thank you

  21. Tom Driberg was Jewish I thought – was he a convert to Christianity?
    I had forgotten about Natasha Engel. She is of course a non-Jewish German, not a British Jew with a German-sounding name (like me – my surname is derived from the German language). Gisela Stuart first stood for election to the European Parliament as Gisela Schaider, and lost, but has had a great electoral record as Gisela Stuart. To be fair I don’t think she has ever made a secret of being German.

  22. sorry it was Gisela Gschaider.

  23. “Tom Driberg was Jewish I thought”

    No he wasn’t. He came from an ordinary upper middle class English family. His father was a minor colonial official in India but had retired to Sussex by the time Driberg was born.

  24. Thanks. I have seen him erroneously feature on a list of Jewish parliamentarians. I did wonder since Driberg is not known to me as a Jewish name. Of course, the present member for his latter constituency is Jewish.

  25. 4 women on the conservative shortlist for this coming Saturday. No Cracknell and no official announcement of the names of the four ladies.

  26. Merseymike & HH – see my comments re the gay Anglo Catholic clique who got rid of a newish vicar recently in Crosby (Sefton Central & Lpool Echo). The vicar didn’t like their drinking culture, so they withheld donations and the Diocese caved in. Mike may know one of the senior parishioners involved as apparently he runs the Tory Party in Merseyside.

  27. Barnaby – on the Jewish/foreign-born and/or name change theme, wasn’t Margaret Hodge both? Or just her ex late husband?

  28. Victoria Prentis wins Conservative selection

    She’s the daughter of former Daventry MP Tim Boswell

  29. Lancs Observer: Yes, her maiden name was Oppenheimer.

  30. No relation to Reg Prentice, previous MP for Daventry before Tim Boswell.

  31. @Lancs Observer

    “on the Jewish/foreign-born and/or name change theme, wasn’t Margaret Hodge both? Or just her ex late husband?”

    Margaret Hodge was born Margaret Oppenheim and is indeed of Jewish descent, for what that is worth. She chose (not unusually) to take her husband’s name on marriage, and was Margaret Watson when she first came to prominence on Islington Council, and later Margaret Hodge when she remarried.

    Your point is what?

  32. BBC:
    ‘Bicester.. has been chosen as the site for the coalition’s second new garden city… [after Ebbsfleet, in Kent]
    Up to 13,000 new homes are due to be built on the edge of the town…’

    A bit of a thorny issue for the new Conservative candidate to face.

  33. As a resident of Banbury constituency my vote will count for nothing in the General Election. It’s about as safe a “Blue Monkey” constituency as you can get. Victoria Prentiss won the selection battle in a process that was criticised by even her own party, but the locals will vote for her no matter what.

    At least now she can sit back and do nothing, win her safe seat and return to practising law with an additional £65,000 a year of extra pocket money (and a subsidised club in which to drink in the evenings).

    Meanwhile the residents of the constituency are being granted the boon of 23,000 new houses in the coming 15 years.

  34. Conservative Hold. 13,000 maj.

  35. I think Labour will lose Banbury Calthorpe and Witney South. Possibly Banbury Hardwick too. I think they will hold Didcot West and the two other Banbury divisions. Labour could also make 2-3 gains in Oxford from both the Lib Dems and Greens which would cancel out the seats that they are likely to lose to the Conservatives. Oxfordshire as a whole will probably stay under no overall control but the Tories do have a reasonable chance of winning the county outright.

  36. ”I think Labour will lose Banbury Calthorpe and Witney South”

    Labour’s incumbent councillor in Banbury Calthorpe is chicken running to the much safer Banbury Ruscote.

  37. Having thought about it some more, I think the Conservatives could take control of Oxfordshire County Council in next month’s elections. Perhaps a result like this:

    Con: 32 seats
    Lab: 15 seats
    LD: 11 seats
    GRN: 1 seats
    OTH: 4 seats

  38. Bicester West by-election, 21.06.18:

    Ind 877
    Cons 716
    Lab 439
    Green 72
    LD 64

    Ind Gain from Cons.

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