Wantage (UK Parliament constituency)
for the House of Commons
Boundary of Wantage in Oxfordshire.
Location of Oxfordshire within England.
|Electorate||82,931 (May 2015)|
|Major settlements||Wantage, Didcot, Wallingford, Faringdon|
|Member of parliament||Ed Vaizy (Conservative)|
|Number of members||One|
|European Parliament constituency||South East England|
In terms of electorate, at the time of the 2015 general election, Wantage was the 37th largest constituency in the United Kingdom and the second largest in Oxfordshire.
1983-2010: The District of Vale of White Horse wards of Appleton, Craven, Drayton, Faringdon and Littleworth, Greendown, Grove, Harwell and Chilton, Hendred, Icknield, Island Villages, Kingston Bagpuize and Southmoor, Longworth, Marcham, Segsbury, Shrivenham, Stanford, Steventon, Sutton Courtenay, The Coxwells, and Upton and Blewbury, and the District of South Oxfordshire wards of Brightwell, Cholsey, Didcot North, Didcot Northbourne, Didcot South, Hagbourne, and Wallingford.
2010-present: The District of Vale of White Horse wards of Blewbury and Upton, Craven, Drayton, Faringdon and The Coxwells, Greendown, Grove, Hanneys, Harwell, Hendreds, Kingston Bagpuize with Southmoor, Longworth, Marcham and Shippon, Shrivenham, Stanford, Sutton Courtenay and Appleford, Wantage Charlton, and Wantage Segsbury, and the District of South Oxfordshire wards of Brightwell, Cholsey and Wallingford South, Didcot All Saints, Didcot Ladygrove, Didcot Northbourne, Didcot Park, Hagbourne, and Wallingford North.
In September 2016, the boundary commission proposed plans to amend the boundaries of five of the six constituencies in Oxfordshire with Wantage being one of the five with proposed new boundaries. The main proposed change would see Wallingford become part of a renamed Henley and Thame constituency - currently just Henley. Whilst Wallingford would be part of the Henley and Thame constituency, the villages surrounding Wallingford currently in the Wantage constituency (including Brightwell-cum-Sotwell and Cholsey) will remain part of the Wantage constituency. The changes will also see several villages currently in the Oxford West and Abingdon (including Appleton, Besselsleigh and Eaton) become part of the Wantage constituency. It had previously been thought that the boundary commission may rename the Wantage constituency to include Didcot in the name however no such plans are included in the proposal.
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, until July 2016, held the post of Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries.
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 Isambard Kingdom Brunel built a branch line from its main line between London and Bristol to Oxford, siting the junction at the then sparsely populated parish of Didcot.
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.
Members of Parliament
|1983||Robert Victor Jackson||Conservative|
|This section does not cite any sources. (January 2011) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
Elections in the 2010s
|Liberal Democrat||Alex Meredith||7,611||13.1||-14.9|
|Liberal Democrat||Alan Armitage||15,737||27.9||+0.3|
Elections in the 2000s
|Liberal Democrat||Andrew Crawford||14,337||27.6||−0.4|
|English Democrat||Gerald Lambourne||646||1.2||N/A|
|Liberal Democrat||Neil Fawcett||13,776||28.0||+1.5|
Elections in the 1990s
|Liberal Democrat||Jenny Riley||14,862||26.52|
|Liberal Democrat||RMC Morgan||14,102||25.0||−5.5|
Elections in the 1980s
|Social Democratic||Winifred Tumin||15,795||30.49|
|Social Democratic||Winifred Tumin||15,867||32.28|
|Wessex Regionalist||AP Mockler||183||0.37|
|Conservative win (new seat)|
||Witney, Oxford West and Abingdon, Henley|
- List of Parliamentary constituencies in Oxfordshire
- Banbury (UK Parliament constituency)
- Henley (UK Parliament constituency)
- Oxford East (UK Parliament constituency)
- Oxford West and Abingdon (UK Parliament constituency)
- Witney (UK Parliament constituency)
- A county constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer)
- 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.
- The town was granted a Royal Charter in 1155 and sent two MPs from 1295 until 1832, see Wallingford (UK Parliament constituency)
- Oliver, Matt (13 September 2016). "Boundary Commission proposes changes to Oxford East, Oxford West & Abingdon, Henley, Banbury and Wantage constituencies". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
- "Unemployment: the key UK data and benefit claimants for every constituency". The Guardian. 17 November 2010. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "W" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]
- "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "Wantage". bbc.co.uk.
- "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 2010-12-06.