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. Its a safe Tory seat but interestingly, Labour still have some support in the town of Banbury itself where all four county council wards were gained

  2. I think this is the largest electorate on the mainland, after Isle of Wight. The Labour majorities in Banbury were small and the vote widely distributed between parties.

    Oxfordshire has been under no overall control for a surprising length of time. I wonder if Oxford City will become a unitary authority one day, since it votes very differently from the County now.

  3. Total votes in the 4 Banbury divisions: (4 Labour)

    Lab: 2,916 (38.5%)
    Con: 2,257 (29.8%)
    UKIP: 1,825 (24.1%)
    Green: 349 (4.6%)
    LD: 221 (2.9%)

    Total votes in the 3 Bicester divisions: (2 Con, 1 Ind)

    Con: 1,946 (36.1%)
    Ind: 1,095 (20.3%)
    UKIP: 1,036 (19.2%)
    Lab: 989 (18.3%)
    Green: 171 (3.2%)
    LD: 159 (2.9%)

  4. According to Tony Baldry, this is the only constituency to have been represented throughout the post-war period by MPs who became knights: Sir Douglas Dodds-Parker, Sir Neil Marten, and Baldry himself. In strict terms, Baldry may be correct- helped by the fact that Banbury is a long-standing constituency.

  5. It certainly wouldn’t be correct if one considered linear predecessors & successors. For example Sir Peter Tapsell has only one postwar predecessor in his seat & its linear predecessors, Sir John Maitland (also a Conservative).

  6. Indeed- I thought of Tapsell. Will some of the current Louth and Horncastle have been in both of his previous seats, i.e. East Lindsey and Horncastle? Horncastle itself was not in East Lindsey. Instead it was paired with Gainsborough. And of course Louth wasn’t in the old Horncastle seat since there was a separate Louth constituency.

  7. Maitland was Tapsell’s predecessor in Horncastle.

  8. I think this requires an adjudication from Mr Whitehead really.

  9. My 2015 forecast for Banbury

    Con 49.1 (-3.7)
    Lab 24.8 (+5.6)
    UKIP 12.5 (+7.5)
    LD 9.4 (-11.0)
    Others 4.2

    My mother was born in Banbury, I have cousins who work in Banbury and My Grandad was a Tory county cllr in the 1970s so I have real authority here.

  10. No false modesty, please.

  11. I met Baldry (then Mr Baldry) 2 years ago at a bash to celebrate 50 years of Sussex University, which we both attended (he many years before me). Everyone was wearing lanyards, I saw his, and asked “Excuse me, are you the Conservative MP for Banbury?”. He said “I am!” and we had a pleasant chat – I told him that I had been to a (Hook Norton) pub in his constituency a week earlier, which was true, and he perhaps not surprisingly was familiar with it. One of the very few things I apparently share with the Prime Minister is a liking for Hook Norton Mild, which is pretty hard to find now. I also met Ben Bradshaw at that bash, and Hilary Benn whom I already knew, but apparently missed Peter Bottomley who it seems had also attended the university. There was free beer at the bash supplied by Harveys 🙂

  12. How is Cherwell pronounced?

  13. Charwell


    Further proof of what an honest person I am. I just don’t like being continually ‘wound up’ over a very sustained period of time.

  15. To be honest it looks more like further proof that you’ve gone completely mental.

  16. the predictions are generally sensible enough though, apart from one obviously jokey one

  17. Yes agreed, if slightly on the optimistic side for Labour

  18. What is going on?

  19. My mother is avowedly anti Labour but she does now understand why I vote Labour after I explained why.

  20. More information:

    My mother was working in Germany during the 1979 election and My Grandad (who had a bank manager type career) died in 1980.

  21. Should I spell things out really clearly again?

    My Mother had thatcherite parents and my Grandad ( who was born in 1899) was indeed a Conservative bank manager type person who was indeed a county councillor in the 1970s (I have seen the photo of him with colleagues at the council office in Oxford) died in 1980 and called Kinnock the ‘welsh windbag’ .

    My Grandad did indeed fight in the first world war and I can indeed speak German (and speak some Japanese)

    My mother is a one nation tory type person who votes LD in Westminster elections who will never vote Labour.

    People do not like me on here because I do not seem to ‘conform’ to anything. I have provided dates so people can ‘get me’ on anything.

    It’s a bit worrying that I seem to have a far better memory of political events before I was born than some of the regular (middle aged) posters!

  22. I think we need to ring up your pyschologist.

  23. I concede they were odd posts, but that’s hardly an appropriate comment Joe.

  24. I’m not sure what all these strange comments about A Brown’s extended family are about, but they seem to be relentless. Quite what the point is I don’t know, but whatever it was I’m sure the point has now been made, so can we *please* stop them.

  25. Prediction for 2015-
    Baldry (Conservative)- 50%
    Labour- 22%
    Liberal Democrats- 15%
    UKIP- 10%
    Green- 2%
    Others- 1%

  26. TheResults: will you be making new predictions at closer proximity to the election?

  27. LOL probably not for the seats I’ve already made predictions for, but I will for the crucial marginals much nearer the time.

  28. Re the size of the electorate alluded to above, last time I checked my former constituency East Ham had the largest mainland electorate – over 90,000 at the time of the last election.

  29. This seat has something in common with another seat. What is it?

  30. The Results- given that you have not told us the other seat, how can we guess the factor linking the two?

  31. Work out the link…

  32. Tony Baldry announces retirement saying “no-one can go on forever”.

  33. This retirement of course is perfectly respectable after a long service. Must be rather odd to have entered parliament in one’s early thirties and now be leaving it at near retirement age.

  34. Reckon there’s a bit of UKIP potential in Banbury town? Seems like it could be their strongest area in Oxfordshire by quite a stretch. Polling 5% last time suggests that there could be a latent vote somewhere in the seat.

  35. …But obviously the constituency by and large is way out of reach for them or any other party given how safe the rest of it is to the Tories.

  36. Visually it reminds me a lot of Newark (the town) where we know UKIP did very well at the by-election. Don’t know whether that comparison is accurate though.

  37. The most memorable thing Tony Baldry did in his parliamentary career was running someone over in his Mercedes, when he accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the brake. I’m guessing the Chris Kellys and Jessica Lees are anxious to avoid such a nondescript 30 year career.

  38. This would be another perfect seat for Boris.

  39. I think he should stand in Clacton against Douglas Carswell. Now that really would set the cat amongst the pigeons…..

    Yes, I know that’s a bit silly, but sometimes one has to play fantasy.

  40. If Boris were to stand here and not Uxbridge & S Ruislip, Labour might fare slightly better as the distant 2nd place challenger. Of course it’d be a comfy Conservative hold, but perhaps missing the % points a Boris candidacy would potentially bring.

  41. (Referring to Uxbridge and South Ruislip to avoid confusion)

  42. Contrary to some reports, the fact Tony Baldry is standing down as MP for Banbury is a surprise, because he had been reselected to stand again for the seat in 2015 not long ago. This suggests recent developments have made him change his mind about staying on in the Commons.

    Maybe most MPs are reselected anyway as a formality?

    Not true. Around 150 Tory MPs haven’t been formally reselected according to my information.

  43. Formal reselection in the Tory party is indeed basically a formality, unless a faction in the association wishes to hold a deselection vote. From memory, reselection of the sitting member is nodded through amongst the most senior association officers, and presented as a fait accompli (unanimous readoption) at the association AGM. Members do not ordinarily get a vote on whether to readopt their MP unless a deselection process is begun.

  44. HH – yes, the only thing he’s famous for is being the first open Freemason MP.

  45. The reselection of sitting Conservative MPs is done by the executive of the local association. If the MP fails that vote, the issue will go to a full membership ballot.

    In the Labour party there’s the so called “trigger ballot” process. The sitting MP needs to get the support of 50%+ of the CLP branches to be reselected. The vote of the ward branches is decided by a vote of the membership of said wards. There’s no postal ballot, so you can carry a ward with less than 10 votes if there isn’t an organized attempt to oust you and therefore a low turnout that night.

  46. Labour will probably indeed take back second place here, but it will definitely be distant, and third place will be a battle that UKIP might hope to win here.

  47. Next door seat to Boris’s former Henley constituency. Maybe it’s slightly too far from London for his liking.

  48. He’ll go for Uxbridge I reckon.

  49. Dr John

    The Survation poll re-asked the voting question based on Boris standing. It did increase Cons at the expense of UKIP and Labour, but still gave Carswell a 33% margin / 60% vote!

  50. “He’ll go for Uxbridge I reckon.”

    Do you reckon? Since he announced he had applied about a week ago this is not one of your bravest predictions I think.
    Incidentally are you going to enlighten as to what this seat has in common with ‘another seat’?

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