Witney (UK Parliament constituency)
for the House of Commons
|Electorate||78,220 (December 2010)|
|Major settlements||Witney, Carterton, Chipping Norton and Charlbury|
|Member of Parliament||Robert Courts (Conservative)|
|Number of members||One|
|Created from||Mid Oxfordshire and Banbury|
Witney is a county constituency in Oxfordshire represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first-past-the-post system of election, and was created for the 1983 general election. It has been a safe Conservative Party seat at recent elections. It is currently represented by Robert Courts of the Conservative Party.
It was represented from 2001-2016 by David Cameron, Leader of the Conservative Party (2005-2016) and UK Prime Minister (2010-2016). On 12 September 2016, Cameron resigned from serving as an MP triggering the 2016 Witney by-election, at which Robert Courts of the Conservatives retained the seat; albeit with a reduced majority. His vote share subsequently rose to 55% at the 2017 and 2019 general elections.
Until 1974, much of the seat remained as part of the Woodstock and latterly Banbury constituency. From 1974 to 1983, the area was included in the Mid Oxfordshire seat along with parts of Bullingdon and Ploughley. Since 1983, Witney has been a full parliamentary seat in its own right and comprises the whole of the District of West Oxfordshire with surrounding villages attached until 1997.
Carterton is the second largest populated town with 14,000 and is situated alongside RAF Brize Norton which is vital to the local economy, being one of the largest and busiest Royal Air Force stations in the country.
The constituency's first MP was Douglas Hurd, who served as a cabinet minister under both Margaret Thatcher and John Major, and retired in 1997. Hurd was succeeded by Shaun Woodward at the 1997 general election. However, Woodward defected to the Labour Party in 1999, and Witney unexpectedly had a Labour MP. Woodward chose not to stand in Witney as a Labour candidate and moved to the Labour safe seat of St Helens South instead, following the practice of Alan Howarth in 1997.
At the 2001 general election, David Cameron was elected as MP for Witney. Cameron was re-elected to a fourth term as MP for the constituency at the 2015 general election with a majority of 25,155, the highest in his political career; on that occasion his Conservative Party won a surprise overall majority in the House of Commons, taking 330 seats to the opposition Labour Party's 232. However, on 24 June 2016, Cameron announced that he would resign as Prime Minister by that October due to the outcome of the EU Referendum the previous day, in which 51.9% of voters supported leaving the EU. On 12 September 2016, it was announced that Cameron would resign as MP for Witney. This triggered a by-election, which was won by Robert Courts, also a Conservative, albeit with a significantly reduced majority.
Before the 2019 general election, the Liberal Democrats and Green Party agreed not to run against each other as part of a "Unite to Remain" alliance. This led to Andrew Prosser, who had been selected as the Green Party's prospective candidate  standing down.
Boundaries and boundary changes
1983–1997: The District of West Oxfordshire wards of Ascott and Shipton, Aston Bampton and Standlake, Bampton, Bladon and Cassington, Brize Norton and Curbridge, Burford, Carterton North, Carterton South, Chadlington, Charlbury, Chipping Norton, Clanfield and Shilton, Combe and Stonesfield, Ducklington, Enstone, Eynsham, Filkins and Langford, Finstock and Leafield, Freeland and Hanborough, Hailey, Kingham, Milton-under-Wychwood, Minster Lovell, North Leigh, Rollright, Stanton Harcourt, Witney East, Witney North, Witney South, Witney West, and Woodstock, and the District of Cherwell wards of Gosford, North West Kidlington, South East Kidlington, and Yarnton.
The new constituency was largely formed from the majority of the abolished County Constituency of Mid-Oxon, including the settlements of Witney, Carterton, Woodstock and Kidlington. Chipping Norton and surrounding rural areas were transferred from the Banbury constituency.
1997–2010: The District of West Oxfordshire, and the District of Cherwell ward of Yarnton.
The remaining two wards of the District of West Oxfordshire (Bartons, and Tackley and Wooton) were transferred from Banbury. Kidlington transferred to Oxford West and Abingdon.
2010–present: The District of West Oxfordshire.
As part of the Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies the Boundary Commission reported in 2004 that the seat of Witney could be composed from the entire district of West Oxfordshire, with the District of Cherwell ward of Yarnton being transferred to Oxford West and Abingdon.
Members of Parliament
|2016 by-election||Robert Courts||Conservative|
Elections in the 2010s
|Liberal Democrats||Charlotte Hoagland||18,679||30.5||+10.1|
|Labour Co-op||Rosa Bolger||8,770||14.3||-6.4|
|Liberal Democrats||Liz Leffman||12,457||20.4||+13.6|
|Liberal Democrats||Liz Leffman||11,611||30.2||+23.4|
|National Health Action||Helen Salisbury||433||1.1||0.0|
|Monster Raving Loony||Mad Hatter||129||0.3||New|
|Bus-Pass Elvis||David Bishop||61||0.2||New|
|Eccentric Party||Lord Toby Jug||59||0.2||New|
|English Democrat||Winston McKenzie||52||0.1||New|
|One Love||Emilia Arno||44||0.1||New|
|Liberal Democrats||Andy Graham||3,953||6.8||−12.6|
|National Health Action||Clive Peedell||616||1.1||New|
|Wessex Regionalist||Colin Bex||110||0.2||+0.1|
|Reduce VAT in Sport||Vivien Saunders||56||0.1||New|
|Give Me Back Elmo||Bobby Smith||37||0.1||New|
|Land Party||Deek Jackson||35||0.1||New|
|Liberal Democrats||Dawn Barnes||11,233||19.4||-3.1|
|Monster Raving Loony||Howling Laud Hope||234||0.3||New|
|Wessex Regionalist||Colin Bex||62||0.1||New|
Elections in the 2000s
|Liberal Democrats||Liz Leffman||12,415||23.0||+2.7|
|Liberal Democrats||Gareth Epps||10,000||20.3||+0.4|
Elections in the 1990s
|Labour||Alexander J Hollingsworth||17,254||30.6||+12.5|
|Liberal Democrats||Angela Lawrence||11,202||19.9||-2.7|
|Green||Sue N Chapple-Perrie||636||1.1||0.0|
|Liberal Democrats||Ian M. Blair||13,393||20.8||−5.0|
|Natural Law||Sally B. Catling||134||0.2||New|
|Ind. Conservative||Marilyn CC Brown||119||0.2||New|
Elections in the 1980s
|Labour||Carole B Douse||7,145||13.8|
|Conservative win (new seat)|
- List of Parliamentary constituencies in Oxfordshire
- Henley (UK Parliament constituency)
- Oxford East (UK Parliament constituency)
- Oxford West and Abingdon (UK Parliament constituency)
- Wantage (UK Parliament constituency)
Notes and references
- "Electorate Figures – Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Archived from the original on 6 November 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- "'Witney', June 1983 up to May 1997". ElectionWeb Project. Cognitive Computing Limited. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
- "David Cameron". Witney Conservatives. 6 May 2010. Archived from the original on 24 December 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- "David Cameron resigns as an MP". ITV News.
- 1885 Boundary Commission map Archived 19 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine Vision of Britain
- 1917 Boundary Commission map Archived 6 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine Vision of Britain
- "Anger as Tory defects to Labour". BBC News. 18 December 1999. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
- "General election: Is your seat part of anti-Brexit parties' electoral pact?". Retrieved 7 November 2019.
- "Prospective General Election Candidates". Green Party. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
- "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1983". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
- "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1995". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
- Review area- Oxfordshire Boundary Commission for England via National Archives
- Final Recommendations – Oxfordshire BCE via National Archives
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "W" (part 5)
- "Witney Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
- "Parties race against time to choose candidates". 22 April 2017 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- percentage change compared to previous General Election in 2015
- "AS IT HAPPENED: Conservative Robert Courts elected as Witney's new MP". Witney Gazette.
- "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "Witney parliamentary constituency - Election 2017" – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Politics Resources". Election 1997. Politics Resources. 1 May 1997. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
- C. Rallings & M. Thrasher, The Media Guide to the New Parliamentary Constituencies, p.178 (Plymouth: LGC Elections Centre, 1995)
- The 1997 election result is calculated relative to the notional, not the actual, 1992 result.
- "Election Data 1992". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
- "Election Data 1987". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "UK General Election results June 1987". Richard Kimber's Political Science Resources. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "Election Data 1983". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "UK General Election results June 1983". Richard Kimber's Political Science Resources. Retrieved 5 February 2011.