Wantage (UK Parliament constituency)

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Wantage
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Wantage in Oxfordshire.
Outline map
Location of Oxfordshire within England.
County Oxfordshire
Electorate 79,775 (December 2010)[1]
Major settlements Wantage, Didcot, Wallingford, Faringdon
Current constituency
Created 1983 (1983)
Member of Parliament Ed Vaizey (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from Abingdon
Overlaps
European Parliament constituency South East England

Wantage is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2005 by Ed Vaizey, a Conservative.[n 2]

Boundaries[edit]

The constituency has since its creation covered most of Vale of White Horse district and a small part of South Oxfordshire district (the majority of which is in the Henley constituency).

Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies[edit]

Following its review of parliamentary representation the Boundary Commission made changes to the boundaries as a consequence of population changes. The modified constituency took effect at the 2010 general election, comprising the following wards:

History[edit]

The constituency was created in 1983 from parts of the seat of Abingdon. It is a safe seat for the Conservative Party. Its first MP was Robert Jackson, who served as a junior minister under both Margaret Thatcher and John Major.

However, Jackson defected to the Labour Party in 2005, and so Wantage unexpectedly had a Labour MP. Jackson was deemed unlikely to be re-elected in Wantage as a Labour MP, so he did not stand at the 2005 general election. At that election, Ed Vaizey was elected as MP for Wantage and now holds the post of Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries.

Constituency profile[edit]

There are three market towns in the constituency: Faringdon, Wallingford and Wantage. Wantage is famous as the birthplace of King Alfred the Great, Wallingford has the ancient enclosure walls of a castle and medieval bridge.[n 3] Faringdon bears a scar of the English Civil War, when its church lost the top of its steeple. The largest town in the constituency is Didcot, which grew up around the Great Western Railway when IK Brunel built its main line between London and Bristol via the then sparsely populated parish of Didcot instead of other routes.

The constituency is mostly rural in character, with more than 400 farms in operation. Included are the Uffington White Horse and The Ridgeway, a prehistoric road, runs along its southern border. The River Thames runs along the northern and western border. The area is affluent and Conservative in nature containing many commuters with fast transport links to London, with Didcot the only area with a strong Labour vote locally. The seat includes international race horse breeders and trainers with racing stables across a broad area that reaches into the Lambourn Downs, crossing over the border into the Newbury seat.

Workless claimants, registered jobseekers, were in November 2012 significantly lower than the national average of 3.8%, at 1.6% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian.[2]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[3] Party
1983

Robert Jackson

Conservative
2005 Labour
2005 Ed Vaizey Conservative

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2010: Wantage
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Ed Vaizey 29,284 52.0 +8.9
Liberal Democrat Alan Armitage 15,737 27.9 +0.3
Labour Steven Mitchell 7,855 13.9 -10.0
UKIP Jacqueline Jones 2,421 4.3 +2.8
Green Adam Twine 1,044 1.9 -0.7
Majority 13,547 24.1
Turnout 56,341 70.0 +1.9
Conservative hold Swing +4.3

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: Wantage
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Ed Vaizey 22,354 43.0 +3.4
Liberal Democrat Andrew Crawford 14,337 27.6 −0.4
Labour Mark McDonald 12,464 24.0 −4.2
Green Adam Twine 1,332 2.6 +0.4
UKIP Nikolai Tolstoy-Miloslavsky 798 1.5 -0.4
English Democrats Gerald Lambourne 646 1.2 N/A
Majority 8,017 15.4
Turnout 51,931 68.2 +3.7
Conservative hold Swing +1.9
General Election 2001: Wantage
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Robert Jackson 19,475 39.6 -0.2
Labour Stephen Beer 13,875 28.2 -0.7
Liberal Democrat Neil Fawcett 13,776 28.0 +1.5
Green David Brooks-Saxl 1,062 2.2 +1.0
UKIP Nikolai Tolstoy 941 1.9 +1.1
Majority 5,600 11.4
Turnout 49,129 64.5 -13.6
Conservative hold Swing +0.3

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Wantage
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Robert Jackson 22,311 39.81
Labour C Wilson 16,222 28.94
Liberal Democrat J Riley 14,862 26.52
Referendum Party S Rising 1,549 2.76
Green M Kennet 640 1.14
UKIP Nikolai Tolstoy 465 0.83
Majority 6,089 10.86
Turnout 78.10
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1992: Wantage[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Robert Jackson 30,575 54.1 +0.2
Liberal Democrat RMC Morgan 14,102 25.0 −5.5
Labour VS Woodell 10,955 19.4 +3.8
Green RJ Ely 867 1.5 +1.5
Majority 16,473 29.2 +5.7
Turnout 56,499 82.7 +4.8
Conservative hold Swing +2.8

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: Wantage
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Robert Jackson 27,951 53.96
Social Democrat W Tumin 15,795 30.49
Labour S Ladyman 8,055 15.55
Majority 12,156 23.47
Turnout 77.90
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1983: Wantage
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Robert Jackson 25,992 52.88
Social Democrat W Tumin 15,867 32.28
Labour AJD Popper 7,115 14.47
Wessex Regionalist AP Barrett Mockler 183 0.37
Majority 10,125 20.60
Turnout 76.87
Conservative hold Swing

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ A county 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. ^ The town was granted a Royal Charter in 1155 and sent two MPs from 1295 until 1832, see Wallingford (UK Parliament constituency)
References
  1. ^ "Electorate Figures - Boundary Commission for England". 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 "W" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]
  4. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 

Coordinates: 51°36′N 1°26′W / 51.60°N 1.43°W / 51.60; -1.43