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Results & Constituencies
Other Liberal Democrat hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Mark Oaten Liberal Democrat 32,282 54.6 +12.5
Andrew Hayes Conservative 22,648 38.3 -3.8
Stephen Wyeth Labour 3,498 5.9 -4.6
Joan Martin UK Independence 664 1.1 +0.3
Henrietta Rous Wessex Region 66 0.1  
Majority 9,634 16.3
Turnout 59,158 72.3 -6.0
Against 1997 General Election 8.1% from Conservative to Liberal Democrat
Lab-Con (against 1997) 0.4% from Labour to Conservative

A 7.4% swing handed Liberal Democrat Mark Oaten a two-vote victory at the 1997 general election, but the Conservatives succeessfully challenged the result in the courts. At the resulting by-election there was a further 19.9% swing against the Conservatives to make this nominally the safest Liberal Democrat seat in the country.

Apart from Winchester itself, the seat covers the small and picturesque towns of Twyford, New Alresford, Bishop’s Waltham, Denmead and Wickham. Nevertheless Winchester is at the constituency’s centre, as it has always been. The city was important in Roman times, and was resuscitated under King Alfred in the ninth century to become the principal city of Wessex and later royal capital of England.

Tourism is a growing industry in a city with such a long history, but there is no great need for the extra income: the area is affluent and unemployment is low. During the 1980s Winchester was the richest city in England with the highest per capita income and one of the lowest levels of unemployment (just 2.2% in 1988).

Past Results

1997 General Election
Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative
Name Party Votes %
Mark Oaten Liberal Democrat 26,100 42.1
Gerry Malone Conservative 26,098 42.1
Patrick Davies Labour 6,528 10.5
Peter Strand Referendum 1,598 2.6
Richard Huggett Independent 640 1.0
Derek Rumsey UK Independence 476 0.8
John Browne Independent 307 0.5
Peter Stockton Loony 307 0.5
Majority 2 0.0
Turnout 62,054 78.3
Parliamentary By-Election
Liberal Democrat hold
Name Party Votes %
Mark Oaten Liberal Democrat 37,006 68.0
Gerry Malone Conservative 15,450 28.4
Patrick Davies Labour 944 1.7
Robin Page UK Independence 521 1.0
Lord David Sutch Loony 316 0.6
Richard Huggett Independent 59 0.1
Rosemary Barry Natural Law 48 0.1
Roger Everest PECP 40 0.1
Majority 21,556 39.6
Turnout 54,384 68.7