Oxford University Liberal Democrats

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Oxford University Liberal Democrats
OULD Logo.png
Founded 1913 (as Oxford University Liberal Club )
Home Page www.oxford-libdems.org

Honorary officers

Patron Evan Harris, Wadham

Current committee

Co-chair Matthew Sumption, Christ Church
Co-chair Gareth Wilkes, St. John's College
Treasurer Harry Samuels New College
Secretary Lucinda Chamberlain, Brasenose College
Social Secretary Guy Butler, St Edmund Hall
General Exec Officer Jack Ford, St. Hilda's College
General Exec Officer Eleanor Sharman, Oriel College
General Exec Officer George McGrath, Jesus College
Sister society Cambridge Student Liberal Democrats

Oxford University Liberal Democrats (OULD) is the student branch of the Liberal Democrats for students at both the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University. Previously called the Oxford Student Liberal Society, it is the successor to both Oxford University Liberal Club and Oxford University Social Democrats (founded in 1981), which voted to merge early in 1987, about a year in advance of the national parties.


As the OU Liberal Club was founded in 1913, OULD is amongst the oldest political clubs at British universities.[1] It was formed from a merger of two older Liberal societies at Oxford, the Russell Club, and the Palmerston Club, both of which dated to at least the 1870s.


Its members are active in local campaigns, especially in parliamentary elections. Towards the late 20th century, Oxford West and Abingdon was a Conservative – Liberal Democrat marginal. It returned Dr Evan Harris from 1997 until 2010, when he was defeated by Nicola Blackwood, a Conservative candidate. At the 2005 general election, there was an 11.2% swing towards the Lib Dems in Oxford East, which had traditionally been a safe Labour seat. The margin of victory for Andrew Smith in 2005 was 963 votes - a 90% decrease from 2001. However, at the 2010 general election, Andrew Smith achieved a 4.1% swing in his favour, holding the seat for Labour by a margin of 4,581 votes.

Social events[edit]

The society organises social events each term, and attracts well-known Liberal Democrat speakers to address its members. Recent visitors have included Nick Clegg, Chris Huhne, Lynne Featherstone, Shirley Williams, and Lord McNally. The society also organises policy debates and forums with other political societies in Oxford.


Some former members of the society and its predecessors have gone on to have notable careers, including:

Presidents of OULD[edit]

For a full list, see Former Presidents of Oxford University Liberal Club and Oxford University Liberal Democrats.


External links[edit]