2015 Result:
Conservative: 31092 (53.3%)
Labour: 9343 (16%)
Lib Dem: 7611 (13.1%)
Green: 2986 (5.1%)
UKIP: 7288 (12.5%)
MAJORITY: 21749 (37.3%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Oxfordshire. Consists of most of the Vale of White Horse council area and the Didcot and Wallingford parts of the South Oxfordshire council area.

Main population centres: Didcot, Faringdon, Wallingford, Wantage, Shrivenham, Faringdon.

Profile: A rural seat in the south-east of Oxfordshire, this is an affluent and successful area and places like Didcot and Wantage are seeing rapid growth and development. Major economic factors here are agriculture, horse racing and hi-tech industry - the seat includes the Williams F1 team at Grove, Cranfield University`s Defence Academy at Shrivenham and the Diamond Light Source synchrotron facility at Didcot. The somewhat bizarre name of the local authority, Vale of White Horse, comes from the most famous landmark, the Uffington White Horse - a bronze age chalk figure of a horse carved into a hillside at Uffington.

Politics: This is a safe Conservative seat, held by the Tories since its creation in 1983. It had a brief period of Labour representation in 2005 when the then Conservative MP Robert Jackson defected to the Labour party, unhappy with Michael Howard`s leadership. Jackson did not contest the seat for his new party, and since 2005 the seat has been represented by Ed Vaizey.

Current MP
EDWARD VAIZEY (Conservative) Born 1968, London, son of the economist Lord Vaizey. Educated at St Paul`s and Oxford University. Barrister. Contested Bristol East 2001. First elected as MP for Wantage in 2005. Minister of State for Digital Industries since 2014. Vaizey was an advisor to Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard, and part of David Cameron`s social circle - the so called "Notting Hill set".
Past Results
Con: 29284 (52%)
Lab: 7855 (14%)
LDem: 15737 (28%)
UKIP: 2421 (4%)
Oth: 1044 (2%)
MAJ: 13547 (24%)
Con: 22354 (43%)
Lab: 12464 (24%)
LDem: 14337 (28%)
GRN: 1332 (3%)
Oth: 1444 (3%)
MAJ: 8017 (15%)
Con: 19475 (40%)
Lab: 13875 (28%)
LDem: 13776 (28%)
GRN: 1062 (2%)
Oth: 941 (2%)
MAJ: 5600 (11%)
Con: 22311 (40%)
Lab: 16272 (29%)
LDem: 14822 (26%)
Oth: 1105 (2%)
MAJ: 6039 (11%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
EDWARD VAIZEY (Conservative) See above.
STEPHEN WEBB (Labour) Research scientist.
ALEX MEREDITH (Liberal Democrat) Born South Wales. Educated at UCL. Solicitor.
KATE PRENDERGAST (Green) Digital communications specialist.
Comments - 27 Responses on “Wantage”
  1. Looks like the Tories have got back to about 1% of where they were in 1992 here.

    The LDs do have something of a presence though – pushing Labour back into third place, and winning a number of wards still.
    The CC division covering Wantage town was LD in 2013.

    I can see UKIP reaching about 8% here but I suspect the LDs will decline.

    I don’t see Labour getting back to 2005 figures – but they could hover just below 20, with their bases in Didcot and a few votes possibly in Sutton Courtenay (although not to the level of the mid late 1990s).

    The countryside round here is probably some of the best in the world.

    * Con 53% +1%
    LD 20% -8%
    Lab 18% +4%
    UKIP 7% +3%
    Green 2% +0%

    LD to C swing 5%

  2. The Tories had an abysmal result here in 2001, going below 40% and only winning easily because of a virtual dead-heat for second place.

  3. As with Oxford West, this is a seat which clearly responded well to Cameroon conservatism and badly to the previous Hague/Howard variety (though the then MP Robert Jackson was extremely wet, and defected to Labour).

  4. Ed Vaizey has comfortably restored this seat’s position as a safe Conservative seat, no doubt helped the Cameron swing next door in 2010 that has been mentioned above. I think he’s on the way to big things TBH, and might enter the race for the leadership when DC eventually decides to stand down.

  5. 2005 wasn’t bad – up about 3% and more numerical votes than 1997 – but the share dipped a bit further in 2001 which was v poor.

  6. EV is the right fit for this seat I think- Media savvy, good presence when he does appear on television, and close to DC in neighbouring Witney.

  7. This seat doesn’t include all of the Vale of the White Horse (sorry to correct the description).
    The rest of that is in Oxford West and Abingdon.

    I think the Hendreds area used to be quite Lib Dem/Alliance but I saw was strongly Tory in 2013.

  8. I think a lot of this constituency used to be in Berkshire rather than Oxfordshire.

  9. Some of it yes.
    Didcot, Sutton Courtenay etc. to the south
    Perhaps the White Horse itself.

  10. All of it is Berkshire. I agree with Joe that it is beautiful countryside around here and I say that as someone who isn’t generally a big fan of countryside

  11. Are you not? Why is that Pete?

    I rather like both.

  12. I think I’m mildly agoraphobic. Also like to have shops and other services close at hand – I think there’s a fear of being stranded in the middle of nowhere without food, drink, cigarettes etc. Just what I’m used to I suppose – I’ve always lived in predominantly urban areas

  13. I guess in SW London we are very fortunate in that regard.
    There are some things one treds in that one doesn’t like around the place – like Liberal Demcrats – but urban and rural overlapping a bit.

  14. Indeed, Richmond Park (and I mean the park not the constituency) is my idea of a rural idyll

  15. Norman Tebbit used to say there were a lot of great things in his constituency – just one or two problems like Waltham Forest Council (this was around 1987)

  16. I don’t use the park enough to be honest – take it as a bit of a given. Must do more.

  17. My dad lived in Teddington as a student and told me he had a walk round Bushey Park every so often. I asked him how often he visited Richmond Park and was a bit surprised when he said he couldn’t remember going there despite it being so close.

  18. I think that’s fairly likely – we like the feel of the place knowing those things are there but don’t always make as much use of them as should.
    I tend to go along by the river more.

  19. Robert V Jackson will probably be the only ever Labour MP to have represented this seat, unsurprisingly.

  20. Labour candidate = Stephen Webb.


  21. Ed Vaizey has been very quiet since winning here in 2005 Strange to think he was once seen as a big hitter for the 21st century

  22. I think Labour will recover a bit of their vote on account of its presence in Didcot. Other than that it’s going to remain Conservative very decisively.

  23. Conservative Hold. 15,000 maj

  24. Ed Vaizey has left the government. Purge of Cameroons/strong Remainers continuing.

  25. Apparently Didcot is the “most normal” town in Britain:

  26. Perhaps they could adopt it as a “strapline” on local signs, in the way so many other places have done.

    Very average


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