Oxford’s political twitterscape

This post came about through a casual twitter conversation with @OxfordCityTory about the various political accounts in and around Oxford. He claimed there were more than I thought so we compared notes. It turned out we both knew about the main ones; the difference was that he was counting University accounts which I have mostly ignored.
So for the benefit of anyone and everyone trying to pick their way through Oxford’s political twitterscape here’s my handy guide. It only covers collective accounts and the ‘corporate’ (i.e. non-personal) accounts of the two Oxford MPs. Many councillors tweet as individuals – you’ll find them among my “Politicos” list. As I focus on OX3 and Oxford City that list doesn’t include many District, County or national people or organisations apart from those with a close connection to the City.

There’s a lively political twitter community in Oxford. About 16 City Councillors are on twitter, most of them active and more than ready to respond, interact and debate with each other (you know who you are!) and with ordinary Joes like me. The same goes for the County Councillors I follow. In contrast these collective accounts are rather dull. I feel they exist because the organisations they represent think they should “do social media” without really understanding what do do or how it could (should?) be a key part of their communications. Which of them makes the best attempt? In my impartial and inevitably subjective view I give top place to @OxfordCityTory, which is why they head the list. Although there’s some logic behind the order in which the others appear don’t read too much into it – treat it as “in no particular order”!


@OxfordCityTory (Oxford East constituency and/or City district) 
  • Identifies itself both as Oxford East Conservatives and Oxford City Conservatives. Part of Oxfordshire County Conservatives. Also incorporates Oxford West & Abingdon Conservative Association, Oxford University Conservative Association and Oxford Brookes Conservative Association. A moderately active account with over 1500 followers with whom it interacts.
  • www.facebook.com/OxfordEastConservatives and oxfordshireconservatives.com/main/

@nicolablackwood (Oxford West & Abingdon constituency)

  • Official account for Oxford West & Abingdon constituency’s MP. It has the highest number of followers (2884) of any of these accounts but only tweets intermittently. Account was silent from 16 May 2010, waking up again in April this year since when it has averaged about 7 tweets a month, all ‘corporate’ announcements in the third person linking to the website.
  • www.nicolablackwood.com/

@OurOxford (Oxford city)

  • An inactive account – last tweet was 1 July 2012. Neither twitter bio nor website identify account as Conservative either in words or branding, but website links redirect to:
  • www.ouroxford.org/

@OxConservatives (Oxford University)
  • Defunct account set up by OUCA. Only one tweet (25 Feb 2010).
Update 30 Jan 2013: A new account has sprung up. @OxonTories describe themselves as “Oxfordshire Conseravtives Campaign Twitter Feed – Campaigning across Oxfordshire in 2013”. Their bio links to www.oxfordshireconservatives.com

Green Party

@EastOxGreens (Oxford East constituency and/or City district)
  • A moderately active account with 669 followers. Most recent activity relates to the Save Temple Cowley Pool campaign.
  • www.oxford.greenparty.org.uk/

@greenoxford (Oxfordshire county)
  • A moderately active account with 635 followers, publicising Green Party activities in and around Oxford and Oxfordshire. Heavy on re-tweets of other Green sources, light on original content.
  • www.oxford.greenparty.org.uk/


@Oxford_Labour (Oxford city)
  • The Oxford & District Labour Party. Moderately active with 762 followers; no regular interaction with others.
  • oxfordlabour.org.uk/
  • Sporadically active account with 706 followers; the OU Labour Club’s account. Occasionally interacts with others. Website link on twitter bio is to OULC blog.
  • lleft.blogspot.co.uk/

    @OxfordUniLabour (Oxford University)
    • Appears to be an abandoned account for the OU Labour Club. Last tweet was 10 March 2011, but still has 1290 followers. Was quite active until then. Website link on twitter bio is to up-to-date OULC website.
    • oulc.org/

    @OxfordLabourMP (Oxford East constituency)
    • Official account run for Andrew Smith MP. Infrequent tweets of activity with occasional re-tweets but no interaction with its 303 followers.
    • www.AndrewSmithMP.org.uk

    @OxBrookesLabour (Oxford Brookes University)

    @OxUniLabWomen (Oxford University)
    • A sub-group of OULC. An inactive account with 132 followers: last tweet was 10 Dec 2011. Twitter bio says they are on facebook as Ladies in Red but I can’t find the account.
    • [Update 10 Feb 2013: This account has officially closed. A new account @OxUniWomenLab has opened in its place – see below.]
    • The replacement account for the one above. At 10 Feb 2013 it had 30 followers and had tweeted 25 times (including re-tweets) since starting on 27 January 2013.
    • oulc.org and facebook.com/groups/2202046408/


    @OxfordLibDems (Oxford City)
    • An account with 56 followers which only tweets once daily to link to paper.li news aggregation site “Oxford LibDems Daily”. No other contact details in twitter bio.

    @OxWab (Oxford West and Abingdon constituency)
    • This account started on 21 Aug 2012. It has only tweeted 15 times and has only 25 followers.
    • oxwablibdems.org.uk/en/