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 - 2,068 Responses on “Witney”
  1. I’d have thought DC would be affected more than most as the highest profile Tory- just my line of thinking but hey 🙂

  2. Leaders typically enjoy a big boast in their seats – sometimes regardless of the national result – think Hague in Richmond 2001

    Michael Howard more than doubled his majority in 2005 and who can forget John Major’s record-setting majority in 92

    I agree with chris K – can’t see much change here

  3. That’s nicely ironic if you don’t mind me saying so Chris in the context of this discussion 🙂

  4. It is….:) Early days though, very early days….

  5. Not many people can say they’ve been out with someone from the consistency of the sitting prime minister, so good luck!

  6. “I notice the Australian Prime Minister is a volunteer firefighter. How many people imagine that David Cameron has ever run up a ladder?” Lord Tebbit.

  7. Yes but the Tory left probably feel let down by DC in addition to the Tory hard right, UKIP-leaners disliking him since the Coalition as well. UKIP was nowhere near as big a threat during Hague’s time or during Major’s time- nor were they restrained by a coalition which is arguably as damaging as a minority government.

  8. My 2015 forecast for Witney

    Con 56
    Lab 18
    LD 12
    UKIP 8
    Green 3
    Others 3

    (I have a friend in Witney East who used to live in Eynsham.)

  9. List of constituencies that declared on the second day of the 1997 General Election (I.e. after the BBC’s main coverage went off the air just before 6:00 AM and during Breakfast as well as the BBC’s second day coverage which began at 9:30AM) – (In order with time in brackets, the source is- http://www.election.demon.co.uk/declar.html)

    1. Buckingham (05:47)
    2. Leominster (05:55)
    3. Hexham (06:05)
    4. Forest Of Dean (06:07)
    5. Tiverton and Honiton (06:13)
    6. Truro and St Austell (08:11)
    7. St Ives (10:59)
    8. Berwick-upon-Tweed (11:16)
    9. Argyll and Bute (11:43)
    10. Blyth Valley (12:00)
    11. Brecon and Radnorshire (12:18)
    12. South Dorset (12:23)
    13. Skipton and Ripon (13:03)
    14. North Down (13:23)
    15. Kettering (13:27)
    16. Strangford (13:49)
    17. Lagan Valley (13:54)
    18. East Londonderry (14:02)
    19. Richmond (Yorks) (14:05)
    20. Belfast West (14:11)
    21. South Antrim (14:15)
    22. North Antrim (14:29)
    23. Belfast North (14:38)
    24. Foyle (14:41)
    25. Fermanagh and South Tyrone (14:50)
    26. South Down (14:50)
    27. Mid-Ulster (14:58)
    28. Newry and Armagh (16:18)
    29. Belfast South (16:23)
    30. East Antrim (16:35)
    31. Upper Bann (16:35)
    32. Ludlow (16:35)
    33. Belfast East (16:35)
    34. Daventry (16:35)
    35. West Tyrone (17:58)
    36. Winchester (18:18)

  10. See the list above.

  11. The first six of that list counted overnight, they had local elections and were large rural areas. In 2010 there were umpteen which counted overnight and did n’t declare till the next day and most were far from being large rural areas.

  12. Thanks for that information SBJME19. You don’t happen to know whether the declaration for Truro was shown during Breakfast News do you?

  13. Does anyone know if the BBC televised the declarations of any of the seats that came through in the afternoon after Brecon and Radnorshire in 1997?

  14. Yes, Richmond (YORKS) was shown just as the BBC was coming back on TV after the lunchtime news. They also showed Belfast West and Mid Ulster. The Rev Ian McCrea was interviewed for by David Dimbleby on the programme.

    I had the whole thing on video until recently but I think it’s been lost now.

  15. Ah right cheers Andy. I take it all the late declarers were shown onscreen at least with the results detailed?

  16. In case anyone is interested, of the 36 seats that declared on the second day in 1997, exactly half came from Northern Ireland and of the other 18 from England, Scotland and Wales, 9 were Conservative holds, 3 were won by Labour, and 6 were Lib Dem.

  17. It’s a good 10 years since I watched the tape (although I saw it lying around a lot more recently than that) so I can’t remember exactly what happened. I don’t think all the results were shown in detail on the screen, no.There were still about 5 results to come in when the show went off the air, including Ludlow and Daventry which really ought to have declared by that time. Obviously Winchester was held up by the close result.

  18. Thanks Andy,

    It is a real shame that you can’t upload all the second day coverage to YouTube, but alas, perhaps one day, someone will…

  19. I’ll have another look to see if I can find it.

  20. Cheers Andy I’d be grateful if you’re able to find it.

  21. TheResults: you might like to have my email address in case you want to communicate with me directly. I’ll put it at the bottom of my candidates spreadsheet for a short time. For example I might be able to send you some DVDs with election footage on that I’m having difficulty putting on YouTube, (although I can’t promise anything at the moment):


  22. I couldn’t find your email address Andy.

  23. If you go right to the bottom of the document it’s there, below the list of retiring MPs.

  24. Can you not upload anything to You Tube that you have at the moment on DVD?

  25. My connection is extremely poor and my computer is ten years old. And also we might be getting on the nerves of other people by having conversations on here when we could be using email. I’ll move my email address to the top of the document.

  26. I don’t think I know or trust anyone on this site well enough to talk to them personally. I don’t really know where this has come from but whatever it is unless it is anything to do with election coverage, with all due respect I’m not about to give away my personal details to people who I’ve never even physically met.

  27. I’ve made a special effort to put my email address online where anyone can see it (for a short time), which I don’t normally do, so that you wouldn’t have to let anyone else know your address apart from me. But if you don’t want to do it that’s okay. I don’t know what problem you have with sending me an email because I wouldn’t know anything else about you, and you could use a temporary email address anyway.

    I’ve sent election videos to quite a few people who I’ve never met before over the last few years on this site.

    You say you don’t want to talk to people personally, but what’s the difference between that and they way you’ve been talking to people on this site? I would have thought it’s more of an intrusion to have conversations with people on a site like this where everyone knows what you’re talking about, because anyone could be trying to work out things about you from all of the comments you’ve posted online.

    It would be less intrusive to talk using email rather than on here in my opinion.

  28. Sorry Andy it doesn’t sound right to me. You don’t really know me and I don’t really know you. I have in the past made the mistake of getting too close to people I was convinced I could trust.

    And while I’m sure you are a thoroughly decent man, I just feel that I can’t bring myself to place too much trust in individuals from afar without good reason.

    On the point of talking personally, I really don’t think that’s fair. IMHO I don’t really think there’s been anything off about the way I’ve spoken to anyone on here, rather quite the contrary- I’ve had to defend myself on more than one occasion in heated debates. And so what if everyone knows what I’m talking about, you only live once and I’d much rather it had been a life full of hearty discussions with many different people. Lastly, if people wish to speculate about me as a person, then that says more about them than me.

  29. Unlike yourself, Andy is self-aware enough to know that this is not the place for a declarations wankfest.

    If you don’t want to email him then that’s your choice, but keep it off here.

  30. That’s very rude I have to say. You have a real nerve to say I’m not self aware. What gave you that right?

    And anyway, how come suddenly you’re the one calling all the shots in this. Who asked you? This is between me and Andy if you don’t mind thanks.

  31. It’s impossible not to be rude to you, because you are an exasperating moron. The sooner you disappear the better.

  32. You’re the one who is rude here regardless by calling someone who is more than intelligent a moron. And also I can proudly declare that I will never disappear whether you like it or not, so… 🙂

  33. Andy, I might be missing the thrust of the above, but if you’re offering footage of day 2 1997 coverage would you mind if I emailed you?

  34. I want H Hemmelig to take back everything he said about me in his last two posts, that’s if he’s got in him to even read this comment…

  35. To be fair he only made derogatory remarks in the second, but even so I wouldn’t go holding your breath until he gives a retraction.

  36. What I would suggest to The Results is that you invent an email address for purely the purpose of getting things sent to you from people you don’t know in person – its very easy to set one up and it means you can have pragmatic exchange of information without giving anything more away

  37. I hope Andy doesn’t take what I’ve said the wrong way- he’s remained remarkably civil in the circumstances and I can’t blame him for leaving the discussion TBH as it’s probably my fault for which I am deeply sorry.

  38. Merseymike has provided you with the obvious answer. If you use something like http://www.hushmail.com there isn’t any easy trace back to you at all, though given that Anthony already has your email address anyway, I think you’re making a big fuss about nothing.

  39. I can’t be bothered anymore. It seemed like a good idea once…

    To be fair to Andy he did warn me the other day about banging on about declarations and the like, so I suppose this was the natural conclusion. I do worry though that as Andy has my email address he might know who I really am, which is what unsettles me more than anything else given all that has happened on here recently. Having incurred the wrath of Pete Whitehead like never before, I suppose in recent discussions on here that I have been involved in have resulted in controversy through no fault of my own I believe and through mere misunderstandings between posters. Incidentally Hemmelig you still haven’t withdrawn your suspect accusations…

  40. Sorry I meant Anthony has my email address.

  41. Moron was perhaps uncalled for, but I stand by my statement that you are exasperating. People keep giving you good advice and you keep completely ignoring it.

  42. I understand that but I’m not going to stop posting. It’s a pity that when certain people on here are challenged over something, confusion seems to incur and all hell breaks loose in our hitherto calm discussions. Quite apart from the fact that if we all took advice off people we did not know, who knows where the world would be?

  43. Without wishing to apportion blame, I do think that everyone needs to take a deep breath, and draw a line under this rather silly argument. This is a good site, which fulfils a useful purpose, and often teaches me stuff I didn’t know. I have read some people’s reasoning for making particular forecasts, and it has helped me to come to conclusions too. It would be a shame if we got bogged down in stuff like this. There are very knowledgeable people out there who will be deterred from contributing otherwise.

  44. I’m really not worried who knows who I am – I post under both this and my real name. Its no secret.

  45. I can’t imagine why so many people want to hide behind pseudonyms or nicknames. If we avoid libellous stuff, what do we have to worry about? Is some employer going to sack us all for being interested in polls & elections?
    Having said that, I do take a far dimmer view of actual election candidates who think it’s OK not to tell us who they actually are – such as “Old Holborn” who stood at Cambridge in 2010, originally for the Jury Team. That really does get my goat. If I or any other elector is expected to vote for someone, do we not deserve to know who the candidate is? I think that it’s worth considering whether to prevent pseudonyms being used by future candidates. I guess the answer to that would be that no candidate could ever win without revealing their real name. I certainly wouldn’t wish to prevent people from contributing to a site such as this anonymously – they may in certain cases have a good reason for doing so – but I do find it a bit irritating TBH.

  46. I do feel a deep sense of responsibility for all that has gone on on this thread in the last 24 hours. I am deeply sorry if I hurt Andy’s feelings, and I now realise a lot of what I said was totally crackers. I sincerely hope Mr.Stidwill will return and that this episode can be forgotten. If only I’d seen the signs- who knows, there may not have been an additional 19 posts on here ever since my fateful comment…

  47. I wouldn’t worry too much – we all go off on one now and then and wish we hadn’t 🙂 I’m sure Andy will still help send the stuff and there’ll be no problems at all.

    Trick is to learn from the above, and like Barnaby advised the other day just relax and don’t react to things like you’re under attack all of the time (as, with this and with all things in life, down that way lies madness).

  48. I think it would be helpful if posters tried not to make these threads about them rather than the issues at hand; it is precisely this kind of personal backbiting/heart-opening/whining that makes Mike Smithson’s site so difficult to read.

  49. Cheers Chris. Good advice from people on here, I should take it on board. Thanks.

  50. Always good to “stick ” to a real name yes.

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