2018 Oxford City Council election
24 of 48 seats to Oxford City Council
25 seats needed for a majority
The wards of Oxford City Council
The 2018 Oxford City Council election took place on 3 May 2018, to elect 24 of the 48 members of Oxford City Council in England. This was on the same day as other local elections in England. Each of Oxford's 24 wards elected one councillor, with the other seat in each ward next due for election in May 2020.
The Labour Party sought to defend its majority on the Council, which it had controlled since 2008. Key issues in the election campaign included affordable housing, homelessness and air pollution. The results saw Labour gain two seats from the Green Party while losing one to the Liberal Democrats. This left Labour with 36 seats, the Liberal Democrats with 9 and the Greens with 2.
- 1 Background
- 2 Policies and campaigns
- 3 Candidates
- 4 Results
- 4.1 Results by ward
- 4.1.1 Barton and Sandhills
- 4.1.2 Blackbird Leys
- 4.1.3 Carfax
- 4.1.4 Churchill
- 4.1.5 Cowley
- 4.1.6 Cowley Marsh
- 4.1.7 Headington
- 4.1.8 Headington Hill and Northway
- 4.1.9 Hinksey Park
- 4.1.10 Holywell
- 4.1.11 Iffley Fields
- 4.1.12 Jericho and Osney
- 4.1.13 Littlemore
- 4.1.14 Lye Valley
- 4.1.15 Marston
- 4.1.16 North
- 4.1.17 Northfield Brook
- 4.1.18 Quarry and Risinghurst
- 4.1.19 Rose Hill and Iffley
- 4.1.20 St. Clement's
- 4.1.21 St. Margaret's
- 4.1.22 St. Mary's
- 4.1.23 Summertown
- 4.1.24 Wolvercote
- 4.1 Results by ward
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
Before the election, the Labour Party held a majority of seats on Oxford City Council. When the 24 seats up for election in 2018 were contested at the 2014 Oxford City Council election, 17 were won by Labour, 4 by the Liberal Democrats, and 3 by the Green Party of England and Wales. The 2016 election, at which the Council's other 24 seats were contested, saw a stronger result for Labour (18 seats won) and weaker for the Greens (1 seat).
The 2018 election was the first regular election to Oxford City Council since the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, at which Oxford defied a UK-wide vote to leave the European Union by returning a 70% vote to remain. A year after the referendum, in the 2017 UK general election, Labour significantly increased its majority in the parliamentary constituency of Oxford East (which includes most of the city of Oxford), while the Liberal Democrats gained Oxford West and Abingdon from the Conservative Party.
New Statesman commentator Stephen Bush suggested in March 2018 that a successful result for Labour in the 2018 Oxford City Council election, building on its strong parliamentary performance in 2017, would be to win all the available Green seats. The Oxford Mail's political correspondent Nathan Briant predicted, "Labour are likely to return a healthy number of councillors", but identified potential difficulties for the party: a rise in homelessness in Oxford as in other cities, controversy of the Council's use of community protection notices to threaten to fine homeless people, and a perception of the national Labour leadership as too eurosceptic.
Stephen Bush argued that if the Liberal Democrats' national strategy of appealing to pro-European voters succeeded, one benchmark for this would be an expansion from eight seats on Oxford City Council to double figures.
Policies and campaigns
The Oxford Conservative Association's chair Mark Bhagwandin criticised the Labour administration for a lack of affordable housing in Oxford, including at the recent Barton development. He stated he was confident that the Conservatives could improve on their previously weak position in Oxford, and that they would hold Labour to account. The party pledged to freeze the salaries of senior council staff, which Bhagwandin described as "huge".
The Green Party's campaign also emphasised a need for scrutiny and opposition; co-leader Caroline Lucas stated while campaigning in Oxford that "one more Labour councillor won't make any difference", while "one more Green councillor" would ensure the council was "forced to deliver". Lucas identified homelessness as the issue on which Oxford's Green councillors been most active, and the Greens' manifesto highlighted their past campaigns for the council to provide additional homeless shelters and consider the use of rent controls, as well as their role in challenging fines for rough sleepers and removal of their property. Green policies also included addressing air pollution in St. Clement's by extending the council's proposed zero-emission zone, and redesignating the entire development on the Lucy Faithfull House site for affordable housing (instead of half as proposed by the council).
Oxford's governing Labour Party pledged in its manifesto, subtitled Fighting Austerity for a Fairer City, to build 1000 affordable homes and work with adjacent councils on "high quality urban extensions that will increase the availability of affordable homes". The Leader of the Council, Susan Brown, advocated more development in the Oxford Green Belt to meet the city's housing needs. Emphasising Oxford's "strong cycling tradition", the manifesto included policies to provide more lanes and parking for cyclists, while supporting cycle hire businesses. On homelessness, Labour pledged increased spending and cooperation with charitable and voluntary organisations "with the objective of ensuring that no-one has to sleep rough in Oxford". Other "key pledges" included promotion of an Oxford living wage, support for sports clubs and facilities, and measures to reduce the city's carbon footprint and air pollution.
Launching the manifesto, Susan Brown and Shadow Secretary of State for Housing John Healey attacked the central government's austerity programme as responsible for homelessness and other social problems in Oxford and elsewhere, while Healey praised Oxford City Council's track record under its Labour administration. The Guardian journalist and Labour activist Owen Jones canvassed for the party's candidate Rabyah Khan in Summertown.
Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable highlighted the issues of homelessness and unaffordable housing during a visit to Oxford, while the party's Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran argued that Labour was over-dominant on the council and that additional Lib Dem councillors would provide improved scrutiny. The party's manifesto included pledges to re-examine potential sites in Oxford in order to build "hundreds more houses", with their councillors suggesting that land designated for business development could be reallocated for housing. The Lib Dems supported a review of the Green Belt for new sites for development, with safeguards for "areas of natural, historic, or scientific interest". They proposed increased accommodation and support for homeless people, while opposing fining of rough sleepers. Other pledges included a tourism tax as a source of revenue for public works. The Lib Dem leader on the council, Andrew Gant, suggested that some voters would support the party because of opposition to Brexit.
The Labour and Conservative parties nominated candidates for all 24 seats, while the Greens contested 23 and the Liberal Democrats 21. The current Leader of the Council, Susan Brown (Labour), stood for re-election in Churchill ward. David Thomas, the leader of the council's Green group who was previously elected in Holywell, constested St. Clement's against the Labour incumbent Tom Hayes.
Labour increased its majority on the Council, holding 36 of 48 seats after the election. The Greens, in what the Oxford Mail described as "an awful night" for the party, saw two of their three seats up for election won by Labour, while their leader David Thomas lost his place on the Council when his attempt to win St Clement's from Labour failed. This left the party with just two councillors. The Liberal Democrats won Quarry and Risinghurst from Labour, which was Labour's first loss of a seat in Oxford since 2006.
The highest turnout was 54.9% for Iffley Fields, and the lowest 19.9% for Northfield Brook.
|Party||Seats||Gains||Losses||Net gain/loss||Seats %||Votes %||Votes||+/−|
Note: no UKIP candidates stood in this election, compared with two in 2016 and six in 2014. Two independent candidates were standing, compared with three in 2016 and four in 2014. Plus/minus percentages are calculated with respect to the Oxford City Council election, 2016. In addition to the 2 seats that Labour gained relative to the 2016 election, Labour also took back a seat they previously held that had become vacant in November 2017 (see Northfield Brook).
Total number of seats on the Council after the election:
|Party||Previous council||Staying councillors||Seats up for election||Election result||New council|
Results by ward
Barton and Sandhills
|Labour||Martyn James Rush||812||51.7||+2.0|
|Liberal Democrat||Jemma Kathleen Hayward||153||9.7||+1.0|
|Green||Symon James Hill||85||5.4||-0.4|
|Conservative||Paul John Sims||114||12.6||+7.5|
|Labour||Richard George Alexander Howlett||482||42.8||+0.8|
|Liberal Democrat||Conor McKenzie||399||35.4||+15.0|
|Labour gain from Green|
|Labour||Susan Woolford Brown||709||66.2||-1.7|
|Conservative||Jake Leon Whittingham||155||14.5||+1.6|
|Green||William David Vowell||104||9.7||-1.9|
|Liberal Democrat||Peter Charles Coggins||103||9.6||+2.0|
|Labour||Christine Mary Simm||839||56.6||+0.6|
|Liberal Democrat||Eleonore Vogel||114||7.7||+3.6|
|Independent||Judith Anne Harley||325||20.1||+5.3|
|Liberal Democrat||Tony Brett||113||7.0||+0.4|
|Conservative||Alan William Gibbs||89||5.5||-0.3|
|Liberal Democrat||Mohammed Altaf-Khan||1140||61.3||+1.6|
|Labour||Simon John Peter Ottino||504||27.1||+3.4|
|Liberal Democrat hold|
Headington Hill and Northway
|Liberal Democrat||Guy John Garden||296||21.8||+11.1|
|Conservative||Georgina Ruth Gibbs||250||18.5||-11.6|
|Green||Kate Josephine Robinson||111||8.2||+0.7|
|Green||Robert James Henry Paynter||228||13.5||-1.0|
|Liberal Democrat||Adam Charles Povey||206||12.2||+4.8|
|Labour||Nadine Marie-Christine Bely-Summers||393||38.3||-2.6|
|Liberal Democrat||Finn Thomas Conway||386||37.7||+12.1|
|Green||Timothy John Robert Eden||153||14.9||-9.1|
|Conservative||David Robert Pearson||93||9.1||-0.4|
|Labour gain from Green|
|Labour||Richard John Joseph Tarver||1041||48.9||+1.4|
|Green||Elise Danielle Benjamin||936||44.0||-1.0|
|Conservative||Simon James Bazley||85||4.0||-0.4|
|Liberal Democrat||Harry Samuels||66||3.1||0.0|
Jericho and Osney
|Green||Lois Knight Muddiman||537||24.9||-1.6|
|Conservative||James Moreton Wakeley||199||9.2||-0.4|
|Liberal Democrat||Christopher Smowton||147||10.3||+4.9|
|Green||Lucy Irene Ayrton||139||9.7||-5.0|
|Green||Kevin Nicholas McGlynn||251||18.8||+6.3|
|Conservative||Johnson Mackline Kyeswa||218||16.3||+1.1|
|Labour||Mary Ruth Clarkson||1044||52.6||+17.3|
|Liberal Democrat||Maria Bourbon||180||9.1||+6.1|
|Green||Alistair David Pryce Morris||180||9.1||+4.3|
|Labour||Ann Louise Upton||856||48.8||-2.5|
|Liberal Democrat||Ruvi Ziegler||712||40.6||+14.6|
|Conservative||Alexander James Curtis||185||10.6||-0.9|
|Liberal Democrat||Rosemary Anne Beatrice Morlin||68||7.7||-0.4|
|Green||Matthew James Hull||65||7.3||-0.9|
Quarry and Risinghurst
|Liberal Democrat||Roz Smith||978||44.0||+5.6|
|Conservative||Alex Mackenzie Smith||219||9.8||-0.4|
|Liberal Democrat gain from Labour|
Rose Hill and Iffley
|Liberal Democrat||David William Bowkett||231||13.4||+8.1|
|Labour Co-op||Tom Hayes||905||58.9||+8.6|
|Green||David Nicholas Thomas||479||31.2||+2.6|
|Liberal Democrat||Graham Roderick Jones||67||4.4||-8.3|
|Liberal Democrat||Paul Harris||979||60.4||+22.6|
|Labour||Jesse Samuel Joseph Erlam||291||17.9||-7.4|
|Conservative||Penelope Anne Lenon||267||16.5||-5.1|
|Liberal Democrat hold|
|Labour||Luke Daniel Louis Barbanneau||520||38.8||+0.2|
|Liberal Democrat||Stefanie Garden||60||4.5||+0.3|
|Liberal Democrat||Michael Leonard Gotch||1153||52.3||+7.8|
|Conservative||David Roger Nimmo Smith||299||13.6||-3.6|
|Liberal Democrat hold|
|Liberal Democrat||Steve Goddard||1341||61.0||+15.8|
|Conservative||Gary William Dixon||517||23.5||-6.3|
|Labour||Adam John Ellison||217||9.9||-1.5|
|Green||Sarah Janet Edwards||125||5.7||-7.9|
|Liberal Democrat hold|
- "Election of city councillors for the wards of [sic]: summary of results" (PDF). Oxford: Elections Office. 28 June 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
- "Oxford City Council Executive Board announced". Oxford City Council. 15 May 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
- "Local elections in May 2018". Oxford City Council. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "Election of city councillors for the wards of Oxford City Council: summary of results" (PDF). Oxford: the Returning Officer. 22 May 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- Campbell, Loughlan (6 May 2016). "Election 2016 overview: Oxford City Council's full results". Oxfordshire Guardian. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- "EU referendum: Oxfordshire votes to remain". BBC News. 24 June 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- "Election results 2017: Lib Dems gain Oxford West and Abingdon". BBC News. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- Bush, Stephen (22 March 2018). "What would be a good night for Labour in the 2018 local elections?". New Statesman. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- Briant, Nathan (18 April 2018). "Opinion: How Oxfordshire might vote". Oxford Mail. Newsquest. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- Bush, Stephen (27 March 2018). "What would be a good night for the Liberal Democrats in the 2018 local elections?". New Statesman. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- Briant, Nathan (26 April 2018). "Rivals take aim at Labour's majority". The Oxford Times. Newsquest. pp. 8–9.
- "Co-leader of the Greens Caroline Lucas given warm welcome in city". Oxford Mail. 23 April 2018. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- "Caroline Lucas launches Green city manifesto in East Oxford". Oxfordshire Green Party. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- "Oxford Labour's manifesto: fighting austerity for a fairer city" (PDF). 2018. p. 2. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- "Oxford Labour manifesto 2018". Oxford Labour. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- "Oxford Labour's manifesto: fighting austerity for a fairer city" (PDF). 2018. p. 7. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- Briant, Nathan (28 March 2018). "Labour Party 'will make Oxford a fairer city'". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- "Oxford Labour's manifesto: fighting austerity for a fairer city" (PDF). 2018. p. 2–3. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- "Owen Jones joins Labour's election battle in Oxford". Oxford Mail. 20 April 2018. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- "Lib Dem leader visits Oxford and calls for end of 'destitution'". Oxford Mail. 24 April 2018. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- "Oxford manifesto 2018". Oxfordshire Liberal Democrats. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- "Building affordable homes". Oxfordshire Liberal Democrats. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- "Helping Oxford's homeless". Oxfordshire Liberal Democrats. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- "Building a vibrant local economy". Oxfordshire Liberal Democrats. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- "Oxford City Council leader will have to fight for her seat next month". Oxford Mail. 9 April 2018. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- "Councillor David Thomas". Oxford City Council. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- Oliver, Matt (25 May 2017). "Last hurrah for long-serving councillor Jean Fooks as she becomes Lord Mayor of Oxford". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- "Labour tighten grip on Oxford City Council". Oxford Mail. 4 May 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
- "Local elections 2018: Tory losses in West Oxfordshire". BBC News. 4 May 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
- "Election results – 3 May 2018". Oxford City Council. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- "Oxford City Council pays tribute to Councillor Jennifer Pegg". Oxford City Council. 24 November 2017. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- "Vacancy". Oxford City Council. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
Vacancy ... Ward: Northfield Brook ... Term of Office: 23/11/2017 - 03/05/2018