Election forecasters predict Labour could create historic shock in Banbury constituency
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Electoral Calculus - a political consultancy specialising in quantitative analysis and modelling for elections – has previously predicted that the Conservatives would hold the Banbury seat. But for the first time, its recent data suggests a Labour win.
Banbury has been a Conservative seat for over 100 years and is the 125th safest seats of the 331 constituencies. All MPs since 1922 have served long terms in office and each has been knighted.
Victoria Prentis was elected in 2015 on the retirement of Tony Baldry.
Electoral Calculus is known for its website (www.electoralcalculus.co.uk) which provides analysis, comment and predictions of general elections, polls and democracy.
The next General Election is expected on January 2025, unless one is called earlier, so the prediction is a very early one and there may well be many more changes along the way. But indicates Labour is currently in a strong position nationally.
The prediction comes as the constituency boundaries are set to change from July. The Banbury constituency would no longer be paired with Bicester, but with Chipping Norton.
If the recommendations by the Boundary Commission for England are accepted, Banbury’s parishes will be the Banbury and Chipping Norton wards, the Bartons, Deddington, Charlbury and Finstock, Chadlington and Churchill, Cropredy, Sibfords and Wroxton and Kingham, Rollright and Enstone.
A PDF of the new constituency boundaries is here.
Last year Mrs Prentis said: “We have always known that the boundaries of the current Banbury constituency would need to be revised.
"With a population of over 125,000 and an electorate of over 90,000, we are one of the largest Parliamentary constituencies in the UK and we will continue to grow in the years ahead.
"What we did not know was when this might happen. We have seen a couple of proposals put forward by the Boundary Commission during my time as the Member of Parliament; the latest set are moving forward and would see the constituency effectively split in half, with the creation of a new Bicester and Woodstock constituency alongside Banbury.
“Throughout the process, I have always said that I would go with the constituency where my home is. Based on the proposals, this would be in Banbury.”
“While it is important for democracy that boundaries are changed to ensure a fairer distribution of constituents across every constituency, it has made my decision... no easier. It remains a great privilege to represent... all those in Banbury, Bicester and surrounding villages. I want to reassure them I will continue to work for them and represent them in Parliament, up until the next election.”
The seven constituencies of Oxfordshire (under the proposals) are Banbury; Bicester; Didcot and Wantage; Henley; Oxford East; Oxford West and Abingdon; and Witney. Currently there are six constituencies: Banbury; Henley; Oxford East; Oxford West and Abingdon; Wantage; and Witney.
The wards of Eynsham and Cassington; Freeland and Hanborough; North Leigh; Stonesfield and Tackley; and Woodstock and Bladon would be in the proposed Bicester constituency.
A spokesman for Electoral Calculus said that before the constituencies change, there will have to be a final recommendation by the Boundary Commission and Parliament has to agree to those changes.
Mrs Prentis has been asked for a comment.