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Witney (UK Parliament constituency)

Witney is a county constituency in Oxfordshire represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first-past-the-post system of election, and was created for the 1983 general election. It is a safe Conservative Party seat.

Witney
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Witney in Oxfordshire.
Outline map
Location of Oxfordshire within England.
CountyOxfordshire
Electorate78,220 (December 2010)[1]
Major settlementsWitney, Carterton, Chipping Norton and Charlbury
Current constituency
Created1983
Member of parliamentRobert Courts (Conservative)
Number of membersOne
Created fromMid Oxfordshire and Banbury[2]
Overlaps
European Parliament constituencySouth East England

The constituency was represented from 2001-2016 by David Cameron, who was Leader of the Conservative Party from 2005-2016 and Prime Minister from 2010-2016.[3] On 12 September 2016, Cameron resigned as the MP with immediate effect, triggering the 2016 Witney by-election, at which the seat was retained for the Conservative Party by Robert Courts, albeit with a significantly reduced majority.[4]

The constituency is coterminous with the district of West Oxfordshire, and includes the towns of Carterton, Chipping Norton and Woodstock.

Contents

HistoryEdit

In the late 19th century, the Bampton East petty sessional division, with Witney at its heart, formed one part of the Woodstock constituency.[5]

Until 1974, much of the seat remained as part of the Woodstock and latterly Banbury constituency.[6] From 1974 to 1983, the area was included in the Mid Oxfordshire seat along with parts of Bullingdon and Ploughley[citation needed]. Since 1983, Witney has been a full parliamentary seat in its own right and comprises the whole of the District of West Oxfordshire with surrounding villages attached until 1997.

Carterton is the second largest populated town with 14,000[citation needed] and is situated alongside RAF Brize Norton which is vital to the local economy, being one of the largest and busiest Royal Air Force stations in the country[citation needed].

The constituency's first MP was Douglas Hurd, who served as a cabinet minister under both Margaret Thatcher and John Major, and retired in 1997. Hurd was succeeded by Shaun Woodward at the 1997 general election. However, Woodward defected to the Labour Party in 1999,[7] and Witney unexpectedly had a Labour MP. Woodward chose not to stand in Witney as a Labour candidate and moved to the Labour safe seat of St Helens South instead, following the practice of Alan Howarth in 1997.

At the 2001 general election, David Cameron was elected as MP for Witney. Cameron was re-elected to a fourth term as MP for the constituency at the 2015 general election with a majority of 25,155, the highest in his political career; on that occasion his Conservative Party won a surprise overall majority in the House of Commons, taking 330 seats to the opposition Labour Party's 232. However, on 24 June 2016, Cameron announced that he would resign as Prime Minister by that October due to the outcome of the EU Referendum the previous day, in which 51.9% of voters supported leaving the EU. On 12 September 2016, it was announced that Cameron would resign as MP for Witney. This triggered a by-election, which was won by Robert Courts, also a Conservative, albeit with a significantly reduced majority.

Boundaries and boundary changesEdit

1983–1997: The District of West Oxfordshire wards of Ascott and Shipton, Aston Bampton and Standlake, Bampton, Bladon and Cassington, Brize Norton and Curbridge, Burford, Carterton North, Carterton South, Chadlington, Charlbury, Chipping Norton, Clanfield and Shilton, Combe and Stonesfield, Ducklington, Enstone, Eynsham, Filkins and Langford, Finstock and Leafield, Freeland and Hanborough, Hailey, Kingham, Milton-under-Wychwood, Minster Lovell, North Leigh, Rollright, Stanton Harcourt, Witney East, Witney North, Witney South, Witney West, and Woodstock, and the District of Cherwell wards of Gosford, North West Kidlington, South East Kidlington, and Yarnton.[8]

The new constituency was largely formed from the majority of the abolished County Constituency of Mid-Oxon, including the settlements of Witney, Carterton, Woodstock and KidlingtonChipping Norton and surrounding rural areas were transferred from the Banbury constituency.

1997–2010: The District of West Oxfordshire, and the District of Cherwell ward of Yarnton.[9]

The remaining two wards of the District of West Oxfordshire (Bartons, and Tackley and Wooton) were transferred from Banbury.  Kidlington transferred to Oxford West and Abingdon.

2010–present: The District of West Oxfordshire.

As part of the Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies the Boundary Commission reported in 2004[10] that the seat of Witney could be composed from the entire district of West Oxfordshire, with the District of Cherwell ward of Yarnton being transferred to Oxford West and Abingdon.[11]

Changes proposed for 2022Edit

The Boundary Commission for England submitted their final proposals in respect of the Sixth Periodic Review of Westminster Constituencies (the 2018 review) in September 2018. If these proposals are approved by Parliament they will reduce the total number of MPs from 650 to 600 and come into effect at the next UK general election which is due to take place in May 2022 under the terms of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011.

The Commission proposed that the constituency be unchanged.[12]

Members of ParliamentEdit

Election Member[13] Party Notes
1983 Douglas Hurd Conservative Later Baron Hurd of Westwell; Cabinet minister 1984–95
1997

Shaun Woodward

Conservative MP for St Helens South & Whiston 2001–2015; Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 2007–2010
1999[7] Labour
2001 David Cameron Conservative Leader of the Conservative Party 2005–2016; Prime Minister 2010–2016
2016 Robert Courts Conservative

ElectionsEdit

Elections in the 2010sEdit

General Election 2017: Witney[14] [15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Robert Courts 33,839 55.5 -4.7
Labour Laetisia Carter 12,598 20.7 +3.5
Liberal Democrat Liz Leffman 12,457 20.4 +13.6
Green Claire Lasko 1,053 1.7 –3.4
UKIP Alan Craig 980 1.6 -7.6
Majority 21,241 34.8 -8.2
Turnout 60,927 73.6 +0.3
Conservative hold Swing -4.1
By-election 2016: Witney[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Robert Courts 17,313 45.0 -15.2
Liberal Democrat Liz Leffman 11,611 30.2 +23.4
Labour Duncan Enright 5,765 15.0 -2.2
Green Larry Sanders 1,363 3.5 -1.6
UKIP Dickie Bird 1,354 3.5 -5.7
National Health Action Helen Salisbury 433 1.1 0.0
Independent Daniel Skidmore 151 0.4 N/A
Monster Raving Loony Mad Hatter 129 0.3 N/A
Independent Nicholas Ward 93 0.2 N/A
Bus-Pass Elvis David Bishop 61 0.2 N/A
Eccentric Party Lord Toby Jug 59 0.2 N/A
English Democrat Winston McKenzie 52 0.1 N/A
One Love Emilia Arno 44 0.1 N/A
Independent Adam Knight 27 0.1 N/A
Majority 5,702 14.8 -28.2
Turnout 38,455 46.8 -26.5
Conservative hold Swing -19.3


General Election 2015: Witney[17][18][19]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative David Cameron 35,201 60.2 +1.4
Labour Duncan Enright 10,046 17.2 +4.2
UKIP Simon Strutt 5,352 9.2 +5.7
Liberal Democrat Andy Graham 3,953 6.8 −12.7
Green Stuart MacDonald 2,970 5.1 +0.9
National Health Action Clive Peedell 616 1.1 N/A
Wessex Regionalist Colin Bex 110 0.2 +0.1
Independent Christopher Tompson 94 0.2 N/A
Reduce VAT in Sport Vivien Saunders 56 0.1 N/A
Give Me Back Elmo Bobby Smith 37 0.1 N/A
Land Party Deek Jackson 35 0.1 N/A
Independent Nathan Handley 12 0.02 N/A
Majority 25,155 43.0 +3.6
Turnout 58,482 73.3 +0.0
Conservative hold Swing −1.4
General Election 2010: Witney[20][21][22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative David Cameron 33,973 58.8 +9.4
Liberal Democrat Dawn Barnes 11,233 19.4 -3.1
Labour Joe Goldberg 7,511 13.0 -9.4
Green Stuart MacDonald 2,385 4.1 +1.0
UKIP Nikolai Tolstoy 2,001 3.5 +0.9
Monster Raving Loony Howling Laud Hope 234 0.3 N/A
Independent Paul Wesson 166 0.3 N/A
Independent Johnnie Cook 151 0.3 N/A
Wessex Regionalist Colin Bex 62 0.1 N/A
Independent Aaron Barschak 53 0.1 N/A
Majority 22,740 39.4 +12.5
Turnout 57,769 73.3 +4.3
Conservative hold Swing +6.3

Elections in the 2000sEdit

General Election 2005: Witney[23]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative David Cameron 26,571 49.3 +4.3
Liberal Democrat Liz Leffman 12,415 23.0 +2.7
Labour Tony Gray 11,845 22.0 -6.8
Green Richard Dossett-Davies 1,682 3.2 +0.9
UKIP Paul Wesson 1,356 2.5 +0.9
Majority 14,156 26.3 +10.1
Turnout 53,869 69.0 +3.1
Conservative hold Swing +0.8
General Election 2001: Witney[24]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative David Cameron 22,153 45.0 +2.0
Labour Michael Bartlet 14,180 28.8 -1.8
Liberal Democrat Gareth Epps 10,000 20.3 +0.5
Green Mark Stevenson 1,100 2.2 +1.1
Independent Barry Beadle 1,003 2.0 N/A
UKIP Kenneth Dukes 767 1.6 +0.2
Majority 7,973 16.2 +3.8
Turnout 49,203 65.9 -10.8
Conservative hold Swing +1.9

Elections in the 1990sEdit

General Election 1997: Witney[25][26][27][28]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Shaun Woodward 24,282 43.0 -14.8
Labour Alexander J Hollingsworth 17,254 30.6 +12.5
Liberal Democrat Angela Lawrence 11,202 19.9 -2.7
Referendum Geoffrey Brown 2,262 4.0 N/A
UKIP Michael Montgomery 765 1.4 N/A
Green Sue N Chapple-Perrie 636 1.1 +0.00
Majority 7,028 12.4 -27.3
Turnout 56,401 76.7 -4.2
Conservative hold Swing -13.7
General Election 1992: Witney[29][30]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Douglas Hurd 36,256 56.4 −1.1
Labour James Plaskitt 13,688 21.3 +4.6
Liberal Democrat Ian M. Blair 13,393 20.8 −4.9
Green Charlotte Beckford 716 1.1 N/A
Natural Law Sally B. Catling 134 0.2 N/A
Ind. Conservative Marilyn CC Brown 119 0.2 N/A
Majority 22,568 35.1 +3.4
Turnout 64,306 81.9 +4.7
Conservative hold Swing −2.8

Elections in the 1980sEdit

General Election 1987: Witney[31][32]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Douglas Hurd 33,458 57.5 +2.1
Liberal Muriel Burton 14,994 25.8 −5.1
Labour Christine Collette 9,733 16.7 +2.9
Majority 18,464 31.7 +7.2
Turnout 58,185 77.3 +2.6
Conservative hold Swing +3.6
General Election 1983: Witney[33][34]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Douglas Hurd 28,695 55.4 N/A
Liberal Philip Baston 15,983 30.8 N/A
Labour Carole B Douse 7,145 13.8 N/A
Majority 12,712 24.5 N/A
Turnout 51,823 74.7 N/A
Conservative win (new seat)

Neighbouring constituenciesEdit

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ "Electorate Figures – Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Archived from the original on 6 November 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  2. ^ "'Witney', June 1983 up to May 1997". ElectionWeb Project. Cognitive Computing Limited. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  3. ^ "David Cameron". Witney Conservatives. 6 May 2010. Archived from the original on 24 December 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
  4. ^ http://www.itv.com/news/2016-09-12/david-cameron-resigns-his-seat-as-an-mp/
  5. ^ 1885 Boundary Commission map Archived 19 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine Vision of Britain
  6. ^ 1917 Boundary Commission map Archived 6 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine Vision of Britain
  7. ^ a b "Anger as Tory defects to Labour". BBC News. 18 December 1999. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  8. ^ "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1983". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  9. ^ "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1995". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  10. ^ Review area- Oxfordshire Boundary Commission for England via National Archives
  11. ^ Final Recommendations – Oxfordshire BCE via National Archives
  12. ^ Boundary Commission for England, 2018 Review, Associated consultation documents (September 2018). "Final recommendations report".CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "W" (part 5)
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ percentage change compared to previous General Election in 2015
  16. ^ "AS IT HAPPENED: Witney by-election count and results".
  17. ^ "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  18. ^ http://www.westoxon.gov.uk/media/1045231/statements-of-persons-nominated-and-notice-of-poll-for-parliamentary-election-7-may-2015.pdf
  19. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/politics/constituencies/E14001046
  20. ^ "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  21. ^ Statement of Persons Nominated Archived 18 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine, West Oxfordshire District Council
  22. ^ "2010 Witney Election Result". BBC News. 6 May 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  23. ^ "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  24. ^ "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  25. ^ "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  26. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1997. Politics Resources. 1 May 1997. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  27. ^ C. Rallings & M. Thrasher, The Media Guide to the New Parliamentary Constituencies, p.178 (Plymouth: LGC Elections Centre, 1995)
  28. ^ The 1997 election result is calculated relative to the notional, not the actual, 1992 result.
  29. ^ "Election Data 1992". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  30. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
  31. ^ "Election Data 1987". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  32. ^ "UK General Election results June 1987". Richard Kimber's Political Science Resources. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
  33. ^ "Election Data 1983". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  34. ^ "UK General Election results June 1983". Richard Kimber's Political Science Resources. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Folkestone and Hythe
Constituency represented by the Leader of the Opposition
2005–2010
Succeeded by
Camberwell and Peckham
Preceded by
Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath
Constituency represented by the Prime Minister
2010–2016
Succeeded by
Maidenhead

Coordinates: 51°48′N 1°30′W / 51.80°N 1.50°W / 51.80; -1.50