Oxford West & Abingdon

2015 Result:
Conservative: 26153 (45.7%)
Labour: 7274 (12.7%)
Lib Dem: 16571 (28.9%)
Green: 2497 (4.4%)
UKIP: 3963 (6.9%)
NHA: 723 (1.3%)
Others: 66 (0.1%)
MAJORITY: 9582 (16.7%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Oxfordshire. Part of the Oxford council area, part of the Cherwell council area and part of the Vale of White Horse.

Main population centres: Oxford, Abingdon, Kidlington.

Profile: The larger and much more rural of the two Oxford seats. Oxford West contains some of the northern suburbs of Oxford and a few colleges on the outskirts of the city centre but not much else of it - the vast majority of the city`s residential population sits in Oxford East. Instead this seat contains the rural hinterland to the west of the city, the large village of Kidlington and the town of Abington. Oxford airport lies in the north of the seat.

Politics: A marginal contest between the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives, up until 1997 it was held by the Conservatives, though on only modest majorities. In the historic Tory defeat of 1997 it fell to Liberal Democrat Dr Evan Harris, who was a high profile voice in favour of abortion rights, euthanasia and secularism within Parliament and, after his defeat in 2010, has been a high-profile supporter of press regulation from outside Parliament.


Current MP
NICOLA BLACKWOOD (Conservative) Born 1979, Johannesburg. Educated at home and Oxford University. Former researcher for Andrew Mitchell MP. First elected as MP for Oxford West and Abingdon in 2010.
Past Results
2010
Con: 23906 (42%)
Lab: 5999 (11%)
LDem: 23730 (42%)
UKIP: 1518 (3%)
Oth: 1327 (2%)
MAJ: 176 (0%)
2005*
Con: 16653 (32%)
Lab: 8725 (17%)
LDem: 24336 (46%)
GRN: 2091 (4%)
Oth: 795 (2%)
MAJ: 7683 (15%)
2001
Con: 15485 (30%)
Lab: 9114 (18%)
LDem: 24670 (48%)
GRN: 1423 (3%)
Oth: 876 (2%)
MAJ: 9185 (18%)
1997
Con: 19983 (33%)
Lab: 12361 (20%)
LDem: 26268 (43%)
Oth: 1326 (2%)
MAJ: 6285 (10%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
NICOLA BLACKWOOD (Conservative) See above.
SALLY COPLEY (Labour) Head of UK Campaigns at Oxfam.
LAYLA MORAN (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Imperial College. Maths and physics teacher. Contested Battersea 2010, West Central 2012 London election.
ALAN HARRIS (UKIP)
LARRY SANDERS (Green) Born New York, brother of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Retired social worker, lecturer and lawyer. Oxfordshire councillor 2005-2014.
HELEN SALISBURY (NHA)
MIKE FOSTER (Socialist Party GB)
Links
Comments - 368 Responses on “Oxford West & Abingdon”
  1. ‘Corbyn can pull a Cameron and blame everything on the failings of the previous administration.’

    Despite all what’s said and the Tories proving that they are every bit as incompetent as any incoming Corbyn-led government, I still don’t see Corbyn in number 10

    It’s obvious why the Tories are playing the threat up – the idea of Brotain being led somebody from the unreconstructed Left ought to frighten anyone who’s made money from the neo-liberal economic policies that Uk governments have pursued for the last 40 years, but I jist fdon’t see it

    If Brexit is the disaster that seems inevitable, people will be even more scared of putting Corbyn in charge

    The country needs a new centre party – and pretty quickly too

  2. Polltroll: “The idea of Britain being led somebody from the unreconstructed left ought to frighten anyone who’s made money from the neo-liberal economic policies that Uk governments have pursued for the last 40 years.”

    The Tories’ problem is that there aren’t enough of these people to win an election. Or at least, there aren’t enough people who *feel* they have done well from the post-1979 settlement.

  3. Neo liberalism has had its day. The West has given way to populism. If we had a different voting system maybe we’d have our own. En Marche or C’s. But under FPTP the only way the centre has a chance is to win control of Labour or the Tories. After all that’s why I’ve always been a Labour member. Pushing the party left was much easier than setting up a left wing party with any succes

  4. But more people will get a bum deal from populism and all it entails – protectionism, nativism, isolationism – as we will soon find out

    As a centrist person myself I still prefer the post-war consensus to either neo liberalism or populism in its various right- and left-wing guises

  5. Tim

    The “Centrist” position is straightforward small-c conservatism. The neo-liberal settlement has run out of steam and needs to be replaced. There are not enough people (particularly younger people) who have made enough money from it to sustain it (and many of those who did will have children who are not).

    This is known on both the left and right as creative destruction as the old and knackered ideas are taken out to the glue factory. The “new” ideas may well be adapted from an earlier consensus (as did Thatcherism).

    Change is coming, just as it did in the 1980s. It is only a question of whether the move is to the left or right.

  6. The electoral problem centrism has is that it is essentially negative ideology – it defines itself principally in terms of what it is not. Nobody votes for stuff like that (hence remain lost the referendum, for example, because they spent the whole time slagging of leave and none building a positive case for European co-operation). Which is why I think of myself as a liberal rather than a centrist – though I end up in the same place, stuck between a rock & a hard place under FPTP.

  7. ‘Nobody votes for that’.

    48.1% of the vote is ‘nobody’? Let’s not carried away here. Yes, we ‘liberals’ (for want of a better term) had a horrific 2016, but no defeat is permanent etc.

  8. No defeat is final…getting my sayings mixed up.

  9. Okay, I exaggerated a little, but my point was that centrists/liberals have got to have a USP. They can’t just be “vote for us because we’re not our opponents” or “we’ll give you the best of both worlds”.

    A new party could do worse than start from here, which explains why liberalism is not a midpoint between left and right:

    https://medium.com/@s8mb/youre-not-a-centrist-you-re-a-liberal-43532e092b40

  10. I guess the liberal consensus needs to be replaced so that people can see how good we have actually had it – and that’s what’s happening via Brexit and we will all see this for ourselves

  11. Thats democracy. Roy Jenkins said governments must change hands for a healthy democracy.

    Please find a better term. I prefer liberal to centrist but my experience of liberals are cllrs who believe the only freedom is the freedom of the market and I didnt vote remain for them.

  12. ‘my experience of liberals are cllrs who believe the only freedom is the freedom of the market and I didnt vote remain for them.’

    That’s a more libertarian approach than a liberal one – and libertarians tend to be Conservative-supporters, and for that matter Brexiteers – James Dyson, Mark Littlewood, Tim Martin

  13. Actually even libertarians believe in other freedoms – they are pro-drugs, pro-migration, and anti-censorship (and, in America, very pro-guns).

    For me, the difference between a libertarian and a liberal is that liberals care more about freedom for everyone, whereas libertarians aren’t too bothered how the freedom is shared out.

  14. ‘For me, the difference between a libertarian and a liberal is that liberals care more about freedom for everyone, whereas libertarians aren’t too bothered how the freedom is shared out.’

    I think that’s a fair distinction but liberal nowadays can mean many many different things to different people

    Classical liberals are more likely to be Conservatives or, over the other side of the pond, Republicans, although the American definition of liberal most closely fits what we would call a social democrat – and has little to do with espousing traditional liberal principles like free trade, personal freedom, small government etc

    And parties that call themselves liberal range from Russia’s profoundly illiberal Liberal Democrats to Canada’s left-leaning liberal party

  15. The Lib Dems may have a decent shot at winning Vale of White Horse council next year if they can win all the Tory seats in Abingdon and a few extra on top of that.

  16. Former Mp for this seat Nicola Blackwood has been made a peer and will become a Minster in the Department of Health and Social Care.

  17. I always quite liked Nicola Blackwood as she seems thoroughly decent and well intentioned but I don’t see how her seven year stint as a largely relatively unknown MP merits a peerage unless of course she’s done something worthy since she got the boot here in 2017

  18. They’re very short of competent ministers in the Lords.

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