2015 Result:
Conservative: 35201 (60.3%)
Labour: 10046 (17.2%)
Lib Dem: 3953 (6.8%)
Green: 2970 (5.1%)
UKIP: 5352 (9.2%)
NHA: 616 (1.1%)
Independent: 12 (0%)
Others: 238 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 25155 (43.1%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Oxfordshire. Contains the whole of the West Oxfordshire council area.

Main population centres: Witney, Carterton, Woodstock, Chipping Norton, Burford, Charlbury.

Profile: Large rural seat in the West of Oxfordshire, including the Oxfordshire part of the Cotwolds. This is the affluent rural England of the "Chipping Norton set" (the name given to the media to the social circle around David Cameron and his wife, including Elizabeth Murdoch, Matthew Freud, Rebekah Brooks and Charlie Dunstone). There is agriculture here, but other important parts of the local economy are high-tech motorsport, the large RAF base at Brize Norton and tourism from the Cotswolds and Blenheim Palace.

Politics: Generally a very safe Conservative seat, made even more so by the extra support party leaders normally enjoy at the ballot box. The seat has been won by the Conservatives since its creation in 1983, originally being held by former Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd. Between 1999 and 2001 it was briefly represented by Labour when the then MP Shaun Woodward defected to Labour after being sacking for opposing Section 28. Since 2001 it has been represented by David Cameron.

Current MP
DAVID CAMERON (Conservative) Born 1966, London. Educated at Eton and Oxford University, where he was a member of the infamous Bullingdon club. Former Conservative party researcher, special advisor to Norman Lamont from 1992-1993 and Michael Howard 1993-1994, and director of Corporate Affairs at Carlton Television from 1994-2001. Contested Stafford 1997. First elected as MP for Witney in 2001. Vice-Chairman of the Conservative party 2003-2004, local government spokesman 2004, head of policy co-ordination 2004-2005, shadow education secretary 2005. Leader of the Conservative party since 2005, Prime Minister since 2010. David Cameron was promoted to shadow education secretary after the 2005 election, being seen as Howard`s preferred choice as successor. His speech at the 2005 Conservative party conference, and a lacklustre speech by the then frontrunner David Davis saw him become the favourite and he was elected leader of the Conservative party in December 2005, despite allegations of drug use surfacing during the campaign. As leader of the Conservative party Cameron sought to rebrand the Conservative party, making the environment a central plank of policy, pushing for the selection of female candidates and largely avoiding traditional Conservative issues such as immigration. This lead to large Conservative leads mid-term, but these fell back as the 2010 election approached, particularly after the leader debates which saw Liberal Democrat support surge. The Conservatives fell short of a majority, and Cameron became Prime Minister at the head of a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition. He is married to Samantha Cameron and the couple have four children - their oldest son Ivan was severely disabled and died in 2009, their youngest daughter Florence was born after Cameron became Prime Minister in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 33973 (59%)
Lab: 7511 (13%)
LDem: 11233 (19%)
GRN: 2385 (4%)
Oth: 2667 (5%)
MAJ: 22740 (39%)
Con: 26571 (49%)
Lab: 11845 (22%)
LDem: 12415 (23%)
GRN: 1682 (3%)
Oth: 1356 (3%)
MAJ: 14156 (26%)
Con: 22153 (45%)
Lab: 14180 (29%)
LDem: 10000 (20%)
GRN: 1100 (2%)
Oth: 1770 (4%)
MAJ: 7973 (16%)
Con: 24282 (43%)
Lab: 17254 (31%)
LDem: 11202 (20%)
Oth: 1401 (2%)
MAJ: 7028 (12%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
DAVID CAMERON (Conservative) See above.
DUNCAN ENRIGHT (Labour) Educated at Oxford University. Publisher. West Oxfordshire councillor since 2012.
ANDREW GRAHAM (Liberal Democrat) Born Birmingham. Teacher and playwright. East Hertfordshire councillor 1995-2011. Contested Clacton by-election 2014.
SIMON STRUTT (UKIP) Contested Buckingham 2010 as a Cut the Deficit candidate. Contested South East region 2014 European Elections for UKIP.
STUART MACDONALD (Green) Born 1946, Glasgow. Educated at Hitchin Boys Grammar and Cambridge University. Professor. Contested Witney 2010.
COLIN BEX (Wessex Regionalist) Architect. Contested Windsor and Maidenhead 1979, 1983, Portsmouth North 1997, Wells 2001, Dorset South 2005, Witney 2010, Eastleigh 2012 by-election.
CLIVE PEEDELL (NHA) Born Botley. Oncologist.
DEEK JACKSON (Land Party) Comedian. Contested Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath 2010.
VIVIEN SAUNDERS (Reduce VAT in Sport) Born 1946, Sutton. Educated at Nonsuch County High and London University. Golf club owner and former British Open Champion. Awarded the OBE in 1997 for services to golf.
CHRIS TOMPSON (Independent)
NATHAN HANDLEY (No description)
BOBBY SMITH (Give me back Elmo)
Comments - 2,037 Responses on “Witney”
  1. Rivers: while you could make the message a little more concise, that would make an effective attack ad/poster for 2020. Remember, we’re in a post-truth world now, you can make up any old crap and morons will just vote for it 😉

  2. Polltroll
    Evidently judging by the quality of thought emaciating from some clearly intelligent and informed people on this site.

    As an aside I genuinely do wonder whether some people here truly believe what they do or they just want to believe it?

  3. Rivers,

    Are you the Dr Who scriptwriter??

  4. But just to add to the series:

    Poor/LibDem = confused socialist
    Rich/Lib Dem = confused libertarian
    Old/Lib Dem = Asquith fan
    Young/Lib Dem = grandchild of Asquith fan
    Uneducated/Lib Dem = bar chart lover
    Educated/Lib Dem = bleeding heart

    (I read them all on Lib Dem Voice…)

  5. Andrew
    “Are you the Dr Who scriptwriter??”
    No but do you think I have a future in that field?

    I’d also make a slight correction to your list, in my experience
    Young/Lib Dem=Embarrassed young Tory

  6. You’d be better than either Russell T Davies or Moffat

  7. “Young Lib Dem = embarrassed Tory”

    Sounds a lot like me!

  8. Ha! It’s always been a little sad to me how few people are really aware of political ideologies/their own ideologies and just vote according to this or that issue.

  9. Some amusing comments by Julian Lewis MP re DC.

    Basically says the planted story before Christmas is false; he has “charm” but not the ability to be the next head of NATO, given Libya, Brexit, delaying the Trident vote because of the Coalition etc.

  10. A language expert on the BBC Daily Politics yesterday, said that DC’s over-use of, “let me be clear” meant the public didn’t believe him last year.

    But this was also true of TB’s speeches shown to a group.

    Whereas although Trump isn’t a smooth orator, his use of simplistic phrases resonated with supporters and so was deemed more effective by those you heard them.

  11. No analysis of May? She’s a far weaker speaker than any of the three mentioned.

  12. Wasn’t mentioned really.

    ‘Brexit means Brexit’ was seen as clear use of language by the other guy they had on the regional programme even if it wasn’t politically for some.

    Maybe the public are tired of ‘smooth’ orators like TB & DC and desire more straight talking.

    Michael Howard scored well for Conference speeches as both Home Secretary and Leader (for memorable straight talking), even though he also famously refused to answer Paxman on Newsnight.

    Interstingly, ‘the straight talkers’ were remembered for their phrases but also loved and hated by more eg Thatcher, Paisley, Tebbit, Farage, Powell, Kinnock, Benn.

    Whereas the ones seen as ‘smooth’ or having a good command of their brief including Ming didn’t conjure up many views either positive or negative.

  13. In Ming’s case, creeping senility might not have helped

  14. David Cameron apparently tried to get the Daily Mail’s Paul Dacre sacked during the referendum:


    Oddly enough, he didn’t seem to bothered when Mr Dacre was running equally objectionable smear campaigns in both the 2010 and 2015 general elections. I wonder why?

  15. I’ve wondered over the last couple of days whether some of the public saw this as a referendum on David Cameron, given that toward the end of the campaign he basically took over and made it all about him.

  16. Changes from last?

  17. ‘Oddly enough, he didn’t seem to bothered when Mr Dacre was running equally objectionable smear campaigns in both the 2010 and 2015 general elections’

    Whilst that’s undeniably true I think Cameron can only be saluted for wanting rid of arguably the most powerful wicked man in the UK

    Like many of his objectives though it was one he was unable to pull off, and as with Brexit I think the country is worst off because of it

  18. Young Lib Dem = Embarrassed Labour
    (That’s me)

  19. The Lib Dems will probably get quite a few local government gains in May in places like this but I think their parliamentary best bets are elsewhere.

  20. https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/03/life-after-no-10-is-not-what-david-cameron-was-hoping-for/

    The thing that strikes me about Cameron is how quickly he has faded from the public consciousness. Arguably Tony Blair has a more powerful pull over the political zeitgeist, and he (a) left office ten years ago and (b) is very widely hated.

  21. I’m sure I don’t speak for too many but i voted tory in 2010 precisely because of Cameron

    I didn’t repeat the feat in 2015 but i could never vote for Brexit cheerleader and Trump-inspired May and current comparisons with Thatchet do the iron lady I huge dis-service, who I imagine would view May with the same contempt she did Hague with her ‘wee Willie’ remarks

  22. Andrew111 on September 29, 2016
    “Next May I predict more gains for the Lib Dems than any other party, just like this May… Perhaps you did not notice??”

  23. http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2017/08/david-and-samantha-cameron-troll-nation-kitchen-sign

    He’s well on the way to overtaking Tony Blair in the most hated former Prime Minister competition. Quite an achievement, that.

  24. Blair is a much more divisive character. strong personalities often are. He is on any metric a more substantial figure than Cameron.

  25. From the New Statesman: “Samantha Cameron gave Harper’s Bazaar a tour of her family’s Cotswold home – and your Mole spat out its breakfast at the results. Inside the “gloriously untidy kitchen”, a radio played “indie rock from BBC 6 Music” (all safely on-message). But wait, what’s this? “A placard that reads ‘Calm down dear it’s only a recession’ leans up against the window behind the sink.”

    An interesting passage, as I remember David Cameron geeing up support in a general election because he was outraged and shocked, shocked! by a private note from a Labour MP making light of the recession, which demonstrated that you can’t trust Labour with the economy.

  26. Harry Perkins,

    Amazing to see you hoisting me with a prediction last Sept when so many other incorrect predictions abound.

    However, without any fear of being proved wrong my prediction was conditional on Theresa keeping her word on General Elections!

    As we see, predicting that Theresa will keep her word is perhaps the most foolish prediction of all!

  27. I will check in another 3 months to see if you reply! 🙂

  28. According to the Mail, David Cameron claimed £50,000 when he stood down after losing the EU Referendum.

    Unusually, Clegg also received £115,000 available to ex-PMs.

    Blair and Major and received the full £115k.

  29. Good for them. Brings to mind an Elizabeth Taylor quote: If someone is stupid enough to pay me 1 million dollars for a film role, I’m not stupid enough to turn it down.

  30. Depends on how bad the film is

  31. She was a solid actrsss and a great beauty in her day, but yes, she was in some shockers. Par for the course in Hollywood.

  32. Carterton South Ward By-election, 15.02.18:

    Cons 388
    LD 146
    Lab 83

    Cons hold.

  33. BBC Parliament are re-showing the EU Referendum Results programme today on the 2 Year Anniversary.

  34. Thanks, but I’d rather eat my own liver than watch that shitshow all over again.

  35. Robert Courts is the latest nobody to resign as minister for paperclips. Honestly, I don’t know how Theresa May can survive this devastating onslaught.

  36. Not so much a who’s who of British politics, more of a ‘who’s that?’.

    Anyone else surprised that the Tories chose a Brexiteer to stand in this seat? Or is he a post referendum convert?

  37. He was a Brexiter at the referendum. As you say, an odd choice for this seat which perhaps explains the Tories’ rather poor by-election result here. Though the seat voted Remain it’s easily possible that most local Tory activists are Brexiters; it’s they who choose the candidate.

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