Oxford East (UK Parliament constituency)

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Oxford East
Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Oxford East in Oxfordshire.
Outline map
Location of Oxfordshire within England.
County Oxfordshire
Electorate 81,644 (December 2010)[1]
Major settlements Oxford and Cowley
Current constituency
Created 1983
Member of parliament Andrew Smith (Labour)
Number of members One
Created from Oxford
European Parliament constituency South East England

Oxford East is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament by Andrew Smith of the Labour Party.[n 2]


Until 1983, the whole of Oxford, including most of this seat, was part of the Oxford constituency. For the first four years, the constituency was served by Steven Norris, a Conservative, since his defeat at the hands of the current MP the seat has seen the Conservative share of the vote plummet to 18.8% in 2010. The seat has been since 2001 a Labour-Lib Dem marginal in terms of the majorities received by Labour's Andrew Smith.

Historic changes to boundaries

The 1997 boundary changes moved two semi-rural Conservative-leaning wards out of the seat, and incorporated the urban Oxford South ward that was strong for the Liberal Democrats and Labour.

Constituency profile[edit]

Oxford East parliamentary election 2010 candidates (Andrew Smith represented by a colleague) with hustings chair the Very Revd Bob Wilkes.

The constituency covers the eastern and southern parts of Oxford in Oxfordshire. It borders Oxford West and Abingdon to the West and Henley to the North, East and South.

The constituency includes Oxford city centre and the majority of the Oxford Colleges, Cowley (famous for its car factory) and the Blackbird Leys council estate, but there is a large percentage of student voters from both Oxford and Oxford Brookes Universities (the latter being based in the seat, in leafy suburban Headington).

Due to the high student and university-related vote, Smith came within a thousand votes of losing the seat to a Liberal Democrats at the 2005 election with such issues as the Iraq War and top-up fees losing many votes for the former Work and Pensions Secretary. At the end of 2010 unemployment claimant count was 2.3%, 45th of the 84 South East constituencies and close to the mean of 2.45%.[2]


Oxford East candidates in the 2010 general election at a climate change hustings.

1983–97: The City of Oxford wards of Blackbird Leys, East, Headington, Iffley, Marston, Quarry, St Clement's, Temple Cowley, and Wood Farm; and the District of South Oxfordshire wards of Littlemore, Marston, and Risinghurst.

1997–2010: The City of Oxford wards of Blackbird Leys, East, Headington, Iffley, Littlemore, Marston, Old Marston and Risinghurst, Quarry, St Clement's, South, Temple Cowley, and Wood Farm.

2010–present: The City of Oxford wards of Barton and Sandhills, Blackbird Leys, Carfax, Churchill, Cowley, Cowley Marsh, Headington, Headington Hill and Northway, Hinksey Park, Holywell, Iffley Fields, Littlemore, Lye Valley, Marston, Northfield Brook, Quarry and Risinghurst, Rose Hill and Iffley, St Clement’s, and St Mary’s.

Parliament accepted the Boundary Commission's Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies which slightly altered this constituency for the General Election 2010. These changes added Carfax and Holywell wards from Oxford West and Abingdon. This means that Oxford city centre and the majority of Oxford Colleges now sit in Oxford East, whereas they had previously sat in Oxford West and Abingdon for the most part. It was expected that this would benefit the Liberal Democrats in this marginal constituency. However, in a shock result, when the seat was first contested on its new boundaries in 2010, the Labour incumbent Andrew Smith managed to quadruple his majority on various pro-Labour two-party swings defying the vast majority of those nationally. In 2008 on the constituency's previous boundaries Labour "won"[n 3] 11 of the wards, Lib Dems 4, the Greens 3 and the Independent Working Class Association 1.

Members of Parliament[edit]

When created in 1983, the seat was won by the Conservative Steve Norris. In 1987 he was defeated by the current Labour incumbent, former Cabinet minister, Andrew Smith.

Election Member[3] Party
1983 Steve Norris Conservative
1987 Andrew Smith Labour


Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: Oxford East[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Independent Chaka Artwell[5]
Green Ann Duncan[6]
Monster Raving Loony Mad Hatter[5]
UKIP Ian Macdonald[7]
Conservative Melanie Magee
TUSC James Morbin[8]
Liberal Democrat Alasdair Murray[9]
Socialist (GB) Kevin Parkin[10]
Labour Andrew Smith

The Lib Dems originally selected Mark Mann as their 2015 candidate.[9]

Oxford East parliamentary election 2010 candidates (Andrew Smith represented by a colleague) with hustings chair the Very Revd Bob Wilkes.
General Election 2010: Oxford East
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Andrew Smith 21,938 42.47 +6.5
Liberal Democrat Steve Goddard 17,357 33.6 −1.6
Conservative Ed Argar 9,727 18.8 +1.5
Green Sushila Dhall[11] 1,238 2.4 −2.1
UKIP Julia Gasper 1,202 2.3 +0.6
Socialist Equality David O'Sullivan 116 0.2 N/A
Equal Parenting Alliance Roger Crawford 73 0.1 N/A
Majority 4,581 8.9
Turnout 51,651 63.1 +5.6
Labour hold Swing +4.2

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: Oxford East
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Andrew Smith 15,405 36.9 −12.5
Liberal Democrat Steve Goddard 14,442 34.6 +11.2
Conservative Virginia Morris 6,992 16.7 −2.0
Green Jacob Sanders 1,813 4.3 +0.5
Independent ('New Loony') Honest Blair 1,485 3.6 N/A
Independent Working Class Maurice Leen 892 2.1 N/A
UKIP Peter Gardner 715 1.7 +0.3
Independent Pathmanathan Mylvaganam 46 0.1 −0.1
Majority 963 2.3
Turnout 41,790 57.9 +2.1
Labour hold Swing −11.8
General Election 2001: Oxford East
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Andrew Smith 19,681 49.4 −7.4
Liberal Democrat Steve Goddard 9,337 23.4 +8.7
Conservative Cheryl Potter 7,446 18.7 −3.3
Green Pritam Singh 1,501 3.8 +1.7
Socialist Alliance John Lister 708 1.8 N/A
UKIP Peter Gardner 570 1.4 +0.9
Socialist Labour Fahim Ahmed 274 0.7 N/A
ProLife Alliance Linda Hodge 254 0.6 −0.1
Independent Pathmanathan Mylvaganam 77 0.2 0.0
Majority 10,344 26.0
Turnout 39,848 55.8 −12.6
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Oxford East[12][13][14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Andrew Smith 27,205 56.8 +6.6
Conservative Jonathan Djanogly 10,540 22.0 −11.5
Liberal Democrat George Kershaw 7,038 14.7 +0.7
Referendum Party Martin Young 1,391 2.9 N/A
Green Craig Simmons 975 2.0 +0.0
ProLife Alliance William Harper-Jones 318 0.7 N/A
UKIP Peter Gardner 234 0.5 N/A
Natural Law John Thompson 108 0.2 N/A
Independent Pathmanathan Mylvaganam 68 0.2 N/A
Majority 16,665 34.8 +18.1
Turnout 47,877 68.4
Labour hold Swing +9.1
General Election 1992: Oxford East[15][16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Andrew Smith 23,702 50.4 +7.4
Conservative Dr Mark Mayall 16,164 34.3 −6.1
Liberal Democrat Martin Horwood 6,105 13.0 −2.6
Green Caroline Lucas 933 2.0 +1.1
Natural Law Miss Ann M. Wilson 101 0.2 N/A
Revolutionary Communist Keith Thompson 48 0.1 N/A
Majority 7,538 16.1 +13.5
Turnout 47,053 74.6 −4.3
Labour hold Swing +6.8

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: Oxford East
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Andrew Smith 21,103 43.0 +5.7
Conservative Stephen Norris 19,815 40.4 +0.4
Liberal Margaret Godden 7,648 15.6 −7.1
Green Dave Dalton 441 0.9 N/A
Independent Pathmanathan Mylvaganam 60 0.1 N/A
Majority 1,288 2.6 −0.1
Turnout 49,067 78.9 +5.0
Labour gain from Conservative Swing +2.7
General Election 1983: Oxford East
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Stephen Norris 18,808 40.0 N/A
Labour Andrew Smith 17,541 37.3 N/A
Liberal Margaret Godden 10,690 22.7 N/A
Majority 1,267 2.7 N/A
Turnout 47,039 73.9 N/A
Conservative win (new seat)

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ A borough constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer)
  2. ^ As with all constituencies, the constituency elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election at least every five years.
  3. ^ In Local Council Elections
  1. ^ "Electorate Figures". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
  3. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "O" [self-published source][better source needed]
  4. ^ Wells, Anthony. "Oxford East". UK Polling Report. 
  5. ^ a b Collie, Jason. "Oxford East candidates – who you can vote for". Oxford Mail (Newsquest). Retrieved 10 April 2015. 
  6. ^ "Ann Duncan". Oxfordshire Green Party. 
  7. ^ http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/2015guide/oxfordeast/
  8. ^ "TUSC parliamentary candidates in May 2015" (PDF). TUSC. 4 February 2015. 
  9. ^ a b McKenzie, Conor (2 March 2015). "Alasdair Murray to Take the Fight to Labour". Oxford East Lib Dems. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "General Election – Campaign News". Socialist Party of Great Britain. 15 January 2015. 
  11. ^ Oxfordshire Green Party news release, 4 February 2010. Peter Tatchell was the prospective parliamentary candidate for the Green Party until withdrawing in December 2009 for health reasons.
  12. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1997. Politics Resources. 1 May 1997. Retrieved 7 January 2011. 
  13. ^ Rallings, C; Thrasher, M (1995). The Media Guide to the New Parliamentary Constituencies. Plymouth: LGC Elections Centre. p. 131. 
  14. ^ The 1997 election result is calculated relative to the notional, not the actual, 1992 result.
  15. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 6 December 2010. 
  16. ^ This was an unusual election, in which an incumbent was challenged by two people who later became MPs.


Coordinates: 51°45′N 1°12′W / 51.75°N 1.20°W / 51.75; -1.20