Here are the candidates standing in the six OX3 wards in the City elections. Polling day is Thursday 3 May. Current councillors standing for re-election are marked with an asterisk *.
We can expect few if any surprises. The main unknown is how much of a swing to the LibDems there will be as a pro-remain vote, but of the five seats held by Labour only Quarry & Risinghurst seems possibly vulnerable. Here in 2016 Chewe Munkonge’s margin over LibDem Roz Smith was only 140 votes (6.1 percentage points). City Council Leader Susan Brown’s seat for Labour in Churchill looks secure; Labour’s Mark Lygo got almost 68% of the votes in 2016, and Susan Brown’s own share in 2014 was over 52%.
BARTON & SANDHILLS
- Chaka Artwell
- Jemma Hayward
- Symon Hill
- Tim Patmore
- Martin Rush
Mike Rowley (Lab) is the other Councillor in this Ward
Mark Ladbrooke (Lab), elected May 2017, is not standing for re-election
- * Susan Brown
- Peter Coggins
- William Vowell
- Jake Whittingham
Mark Lygo (Lab) is the other Councillor in this Ward
- * Mohammed Altaf-Khan
- Ray Hitchins
- Isa Mohammed
- Simon Ottino
Ruth Wilkinson (LibDem) is the other Councillor in this Ward
HEADINGTON HILL & NORTHWAY
- Guy Garden
- Georgina Gibbs
- Joe McManners
- Kate Robinson
Nigel Chapman (Lab) is the other Councillor in this Ward
Anwar Farida (Lab) is not standing for re-election
- Mark Bhagwandin
- Maria Bourbon
- * Mary Clarkson
- Alistair Morris
Mick Haines (Ind) is the other Councillor in this Ward
QUARRY & RISINGHURST
- Alex Mackenzie Smith
- * Dee Sinclair
- Roz Smith
- Liz Taylor
Chewe Munkonge (Lab) is the other Councillor in this Ward
The Local Government Boundary Commission is carrying out a review of the Ward boundaries in Oxford. They have already decided to keep the number of Councillors in Oxford at 48, the same as now. The boundaries haven’t changed since 2002 and the Commission believes they need to be updated to rebalance the numbers of voters in each ward. They have begun a consultation in which anyone – person or organisation – can propose new boundaries. Submissions must be received by 19 March.
The City Council has a good explanation of the process on their website. The Boundary Commission’s map of the current boundaries is here, although the labelling of the wards is a bit hit-and-miss. If you click on the map inside any ward, data on electorate numbers is shown below the map.
Here are the results for the two Oxford constituencies in the General Election of 8 June 2017.
These results echo the 2015 election. In 2010 the LibDem candidate came a respectable second, but with the LibDem meltdown in 2015 the Tories took second place and held that position on Thursday. Labour’s Anneliese Dodds followed the national trend and increased Labour’s share of the vote. It wouldn’t have been surprising if her majority had fallen, given she was taking over from the long-established and popular Andrew Smith, but her background as an MEP helped her deliver a good and convincing campaign. Her strong pro-European stance, although tempered with her decision to accept the Brexit referendum result and not go against it, when coupled with the student vote may have helped in pro-remain Oxford.
Tory newcomer Suzanne Bartington gave a good account of herself despite failing to turn up for the first hustings of the campaign with no explanation. Given more opportunities later she wisely chose not to copy her leader’s tactics and joined in with the general debates.
Like LibDems all over the country* Kirsten Johnson will have been disappointed that the LibDem surge never materialised. She was a strong, committed and passionate pro-European candidate who came over well and who in different times could very likely have made a good MP.
Larry Sanders, standing for the Greens, also ran a good campaign. His message will have resonated with many if not most of the constituency’s Remainers, but he suffered from the Greens’ perennial problem of not being seen as ever likely to win the seat. If we had proportional representation it might have been a different story.
Oxford West & Abingdon
It was a surprise loss for the LibDems in 2010 when Evan Harris lost his seat to Tory Nicola Blackwood by only 176 votes. Since then Blackwood has established herself as a hard-working high-flyer for the Tories, becoming a Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Department of Health. This time round Layla Moran reversed the situation for the LibDems, winning the seat with a majority of 816. Her increased share of the vote, 14.8%, was the second highest of the eight seats the LibDems won in England.
Marie Tidball failed to generate the swing to Labour seen elsewhere and trailed a distant third. UKIP’s Alan Harris followed the national trend as his share of the vote fell to just half of its 2010 level and down 5.6 percentage points from 2015.