Oxford Exceptionalism

National press: “Labour suffers worst electoral defeat for 40 years”

Local press: “Labour has taken control of Oxford City Council after a hugely successful election night.”

There are many nice things about living in Oxford, and one of them is that political culture here is lively. We have vigorous five-party politics (if you include the Tories), and what happens here is often pleasingly disengaged from the rhythms of the national scene.

Jericho, however, is rapidly becoming a one-party-statelet. Four years ago, the Lib Dems won by 846 to 716; and in the three contests that have taken place since then in 2005, 2006 and 2008, Labour has won by 713 to 437, 1100 to 704 and 907 to 301 respectively. That’s not bad at all.

5 Comments


  1. I voted for the 5th party… but they were turfed out round my way. Oh well, a labour controlled council is the next best thing as far as I am concerned. Although it really does look like meltdown nationally; Oxford must now be one of the furthest South council in labour’s hands.

    Quote | Posted 3 May, 2008, 12:13 am

  2. “Turnout was 32.6 per cent across the city.” They really care about politics in Oxford, don’t they?

    BTW, are the Independent Working Class Association serious? Are they ex-Labour (so the seats they lost to Labour just went back to a ‘proper’ party)?

    I believe serious crime in Oxford is back to national levels now that grumpy dipsomaniac inspector has handed in his Jaguar keys. The murder rate is down under Labour!

    Quote | Posted 3 May, 2008, 11:05 am

  3. “Turnout was 32.6 per cent across the city.” They really care about politics in Oxford, don’t they?

    Yeah, well, lots of students, and they don’t vote. A handful of wards had a turnout of 40%-plus, and my sense is that that’s not bad for a local election.

    IWCA are formerly Red Action, more or less. Nothing to do with the Labour Party.

    It’s true that the murder rate must be much lower in post-Morse Oxford; on the other hand, the local BBC news page often has stories that begin “body found in canal / lock / river”, etc., which always sound just like the start of an episode of Morse.

    Quote | Posted 3 May, 2008, 11:16 am

  4. Jericho is, of course, still represented on the County Council by one Lib Dem and one Green councillor.

    Quote | Posted 6 May, 2008, 7:45 am

  5. Of course. That’s because the larger constituencies contain lots of students, who don’t vote Labour (for obvious reasons).

    Quote | Posted 6 May, 2008, 7:49 am

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