Oxford East

2015 Result:
Conservative: 10076 (19.9%)
Labour: 25356 (50%)
Lib Dem: 5453 (10.8%)
Green: 5890 (11.6%)
UKIP: 3451 (6.8%)
TUSC: 108 (0.2%)
Loony: 145 (0.3%)
Independent: 160 (0.3%)
Others: 50 (0.1%)
MAJORITY: 15280 (30.1%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

Geography: South East, Oxfordshire. Part of the Oxford council area.

Main population centres: Oxford.

Profile: An urban seat containing the vast majority of Oxford itself. It covers the centre of Oxford and the majority of the Oxford Colleges - the two city centre wards Holywell and Carfax are overwhelmingly made up of students. To the east the suburb of Headington also contains Oxford Brookes University and the teaching hospitals. It would be wrong however to characterise this seat as only being made up of academic quadrangles, ivory towers and Guardian reading students though- most people here are not students. Away from the city centre there a mixed residential suburbs including the industrial Cowley, home to BMW`s Mini production, and the large council estate of Blackbird Leys, with an unfortunate reputation for unemployment, crime and joyriding.

Politics: Oxford East was held by the Conservatives when first created in 1983, but by 2005 and 2010 had become a Labour v Lib Dem marginal. With the collapse of the Liberal Democrats the Conservatives retook second place, albeit a very distant one.

Current MP
ANDREW SMITH (Labour) Born 1952, Wokingham. Educated at Reading School and Oxford university. Former member relations officer for Oxford and Swindon Co-op. Oxford councillor 1976-1987. Contested Oxford East 1983. First elected as MP for Oxford East in 1987. Minister for Employment 1997-1999, Chief Secretary of the Treasury 1999-2002, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 2002-2004.
Past Results
Con: 9727 (19%)
Lab: 21938 (42%)
LDem: 17357 (34%)
GRN: 1238 (2%)
Oth: 1391 (3%)
MAJ: 4581 (9%)
Con: 6992 (17%)
Lab: 15405 (37%)
LDem: 14442 (35%)
GRN: 1813 (4%)
Oth: 3138 (8%)
MAJ: 963 (2%)
Con: 7446 (19%)
Lab: 19681 (49%)
LDem: 9337 (23%)
GRN: 1501 (4%)
Oth: 1883 (5%)
MAJ: 10344 (26%)
Con: 10540 (22%)
Lab: 27205 (57%)
LDem: 7038 (15%)
Oth: 1703 (4%)
MAJ: 16665 (35%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
MELANIE MAGEE (Conservative) HR manager. Cherwell councillor since 2011.
ANDREW SMITH (Labour) See above.
ALASDAIR MURRAY (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Oxford University. Consultant and former journalist.
ANN DUNCAN (Green) Economist.
KEVIN PARKIN (Socialist Party GB)
CHAKA ARTWELL (Independent)
MAD HATTER (Loony) , real name Alasdair de Voil. Tutor and events organiser.
Comments - 237 Responses on “Oxford East”
  1. Administrative error? Maybe she thought she was in Oxford West?

  2. RIVERS…it’s on BBC I player. Just take a look! (but If u really cannot I will tell u).

  3. (Has Big connection with our little community here on UKPR)

  4. It’s amazing the effect meeting actual people can have on you 😉

  5. I shouldn’t be cruel about a young persons looks but good God, the state of that. As HH said, he couldn’t conform to stereotype any more if he tried. I admire his sharp elbows though…he’s clearly getting himself out there.

    I wonder why he’s suddenly losing his nerve over Brexit now? Bizarre. He’s an intelligent guy…you’d have thought the penny may have dropped a bit sooner.

  6. Er, I think my sarcasm detector is playing up, Tristan – you’re even more of an omni-hating cynic than I am! Surely you can’t warm the embodiment of vapid consumerist prolefeed that is Kim Kardashian.

  7. Polltroll- don’t worry. That was sarcasm. I could say what I genuinely think of Kim, but it would almost certainly lead to me being perma- banned on here. I’m not judging her, but she’s a whore.

  8. “Surely you can’t warm the embodiment of vapid consumerist prolefeed that is Kim Kardashian.”

    I like it that his interests seem to be widening a bit, and only 90% of his posts are about politics compared with 100% when he was briefly my Facebook friend….after a few days of constant messages about by-elections, and CCHQ press releases, I could stand it no more and defriended him. Every little helps. I think there’s truth in what Polltroll says that being more sociable (not just with those who agree with you) tends to moderate your politics a bit.

    “I admire his sharp elbows though…he’s clearly getting himself out there.”

    Me too. He’s done really well to get on University Challenge, especially on the Oxford team, and seems to be becoming a quite widely published author. Good for him. I’m glad that didn’t happen to me aged 20 though, embarrassing youthful opinions frozen in time for everyone to snigger at years later. Chinese who lived through Mao have a saying that if you put your head above the parapet you can’t be surprised when it is blown off, and that is increasingly true in today’s social media world.

  9. I saw that role and wondered what the hell the job duties were.

    I don’t know about Hetty Wainthropp but to me on UC he looked as though he was trying v hard to do a J Rees Mogg impressiion.

    Btw getting on the Trinity College UC may not be that difficult. It has less than 400 students.

  10. Furthermore…he failed to get a single correct answer and we only heard his voice at the start when he introduced himself.

    TRINITY COLLEGE do NOT win University Challenge 2017/18.

  11. Failed to get a single correct answer?! I shouldn’t laugh…but I will.

  12. “I shouldn’t be cruel about a young persons looks but good God, the state of that. As HH said, he couldn’t conform to stereotype any more if he tried”

    I’m going to give him some credit, my inner hipster would appreciate it if he put himself together like that with ironic intentions, sadly I imagine the Tory Boy look wasn’t being worn ironically in this instance.

    “Failed to get a single correct answer?! I shouldn’t laugh…but I will”

    “I like it that his interests seem to be widening a bit”
    Hopefully he’s gotten laid at uni, I imagine that would do him a heap load of good.

  13. I have always found young right-wingers to be particularly disturbing. I can’t imagine being 20 and voting Conservative – what a life.

  14. R10 – Perhaps if BM saw the few things that were written by the boy wonder, he may not be so quick to rush to his defence. And NoT that we’re being particularly harsh on him!

  15. Cheesus: I see increasing numbers of people saying this sort of thing. I have a sneaking suspicion that those people don’t actually know any young Tories, just as the people most afraid of migrants tend to live in migrant-free places.

  16. I’m sure quite a few people who post on here – even occasionally – will have been on University Challenge in their student days….. not that I’m boasting, you understand.

  17. Point taken Alex & Rivers, for some reason he’s never been rude to me & I’m just a little concerned for his welfare.

  18. Trying to be the next JRM if you aren’t from the ‘right’ social background is surely totally pointless anyway? The genuine privileged/ upper class in this country can spot an imposter a mile off.

    Cheesus- actually my own experience couldn’t be further from the truth. When I was at UCL from 2002-05, I met many Tories who were perfectly pleasant (and that period was hardly a high watermark for Conservatism in Britain). I will grant you that the majority were pretty socially liberal and that, Iraq aside, this wasn’t a very ‘political’ time at Britain’s universities, for many different reasons.

  19. You are about 10 years younger than me I think. The Blair years were indeed very boring and apolitical for the most part. I was at university during the last years of the Major government and it was politically much more exciting.

  20. Re imposters pretending to be upper class-

    Roy Jenkins did a pretty good job

  21. Not many people know that Roy Jenkins’s father Arthur was a Welsh miners’ Labour MP (for Pontypool) and much loved up to his death in 1946. I’m not sure how he ended up with that manner of speech.

  22. Re imposters pretending to be upper class-
    Roy Jenkins did a pretty good job

    To be fair to woy, lots of public figures did in that generation, though his accent was the most egregious of the lot. esp if they went to oxbridge. think cecil parkinson, the railway worker’s son, ted heath with his strangulated vowels who was the son of a carpenter and a maid.

    Denis Healey didn’t affect a posh accent, but it was the done thing until abt. 1990…i remember, just, when the bbc started having presenters with regional accents in the late 80s/early 90s. Huw Edwards et al. remember richard littlejohn excoriating them for that.

    Before that it was Robin Day, Jan Leeming, the Dimblebys, Angela Rippon, Anna Ford et al. As the newsreaders show, it wasn’t just politicians. I remember a guy called Frank Muir, who was a working class lad from the east end but sounded like he’d been at Eton. think the army and ww2 had something to do with all that.

  23. Sir Alf as well, of course.

  24. Heath’s voice wasn’t posh, to me it was a kind of Metroland accent which many middle class people in far outer London had back in the day (including of course many of his constituents in Bexley). Footage shows that Horace Cutler, from Harrow, spoke very similarly. Regrettably the estuarine accent now dominates such areas and only a few very old people now speak in a Heath-like accent.

    I have no issue whatsoever with the BBC using presenters with clear and well-spoken regional accents like Huw Edwards or Kirsty Wark, but they are sadly becoming the exception. The woman who speaks in garbled Geordie on BBC Breakfast and Watchdog is a particular bugbear of mine…give me Jan Leeming ove her any day.

  25. Aw, I think she sounds fine.

  26. Sir Alf Ramsey had quite a posh accent, presumably through elocution lessons, but he never stopped saying “passin’ “, “kickin’ “, etc.. which was rather odd.
    HH is correct about Heath’s voice & accent. The garbled Geordie – you mean Steph McGovern? She’s actually from Middlesbrough.

  27. I think the Alf Ramsey way of speaking was quite common decades ago. I recall a station announcer at Crewe station in the 1980s who became quite famous at the time for having a very upper class voice but always dropping his aitches. Think Jacob Rees Mogg suddenly saying Wolver’ampton. Always used to make the passengers giggle.

    BTW yes I am speaking about Steph McGovern. A good example of dumbing down.

  28. I can understand what she’s saying perfectly well. Whether her contributions are of good quality I’m not qualified to say.
    You could be right about the Alf Ramsey way of speaking. I think Sir Henry Wood, whose origins were quite humble for a great conductor, was rather similar.

  29. ‘BTW yes I am speaking about Steph McGovern’

    I’d Watch it HH – you don;t want ti get on the wrong side of her

    There was a moment where she thought she was off mic using every profanity under the sun, and sounding like she meant every word of it

    Very very scary

    Word is the producers are even terrified off her

  30. Parker is another one.

  31. The alf ramsey posh accent thing is interesting…

    He was born in 1920, same year as Roy Jenkins. Frank Muir, the comedian i referred to, was also born in 1920. Heath was born in 1916, and if his accent wasn’t posh per se. It was surely a lot posher than the accent he grew up speaking in. He was working class lad, with his mother being a maid and his father a carpenter.

    I think, as I said, that these ambitious guys ditched their accents in the army or, probably in ted’s case, at Oxford or whatever. Cecil Parkinson who I met as a student was born in 1931, and went to Cambridge and did National Service.

    Ditching a working class accent and affecting a posher one was clearly the way to get on in the 50s through to the 80s.

    Then estuary accents became the rage, and you saw, I think it started in the 90s, posh people affecting estuary accents. Was amazed to discover in the 90s that Johnny Vaughan had been educated at Uppingham, the same school that had educated Stephen Fry, presumably not that many years before.

  32. Also Damon Albarn, who sang like he was from Basildon but actually sounds really posh in interviews.

  33. Joe Strummer.

  34. Anneliese Dodds must be the most underrated politician of 2020.

  35. Ted Heath sounds posh to me. So does Denis Healey, although it’s possible his accent wasn’t a conscious attempt to sound different.

    It’s interesting that HH mentions the Estuary English accent now dominating in the outer suburbs. I saw the repeat of the TV play Abigail’s Party recently, which Mike Leigh set in “theoretical Romford” (ie. an imagined version of it). All the characters except Abigail’s mother sound typically ‘Essex’ – she sounds like a nice middle-class woman, and it made me wonder if those types would have lived in Romford at one time.

  36. Seeing reports that Dodds is going to be replaced as Shadow Chancellor.

    Seems harsh, I know Starmer is struggling in the polls a bit right now but the personnel aren’t the problem.

  37. I agree. I actually quite like her. I think she’s had a hard time. Starmer is running the economic brief and the only policy announcement so far she’s made was then a u turn. Starmer trying to run a tight ship but there’s no room for his colleagues

Leave a Reply

NB: Before commenting please make sure you are familiar with the Comments Policy. UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.

You are not currently logged into UKPollingReport. Registration is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged. Either login here, or register here (commenters who have previously registered on the Constituency Guide section of the site *should* be able to use their existing login)