The 1987 University of Oxford election for the position of Chancellor was called upon the death of the incumbent Chancellor, Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton on 29 December 1986.
A chancellor is a leader of a college or university, usually either the executive or ceremonial head of the university or of a university campus within a university system.
Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, was a British Conservative Party statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1957 to 1963. Dubbed "Supermac", he was known for his pragmatism, wit and unflappability.
The electorate consisted of all members of the University holding the rank of MA. Votes had to be cast in person at Oxford in academic dress. The election was by first past the post. To stand a candidate had to be nominated by two MAs.
The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two 'ancient universities' are frequently jointly called 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Oxford has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
The University of Oxford has a long tradition of academic dress, which continues to the present day.
The forthcoming election generated much interest, and several names were raised in the press as potential candidates, including:
James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, was a British Labour politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1976.
Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff,, often known as Jim Callaghan, was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1976 to 1980.
Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home, Baron Home of the Hirsel, was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from October 1963 to October 1964. He was the last Prime Minister to hold office while a member of the House of Lords, before renouncing his peerage and taking up a seat in the House of Commons for the remainder of his premiership. His reputation, however, rests more on his two spells as Britain's foreign minister than on his brief premiership.
A notable feature was the decision of the university dons and authorities to not agree a preferred candidate in advance, thus increasing the possibility of a long list of candidates being nominated.
Eventually four candidates were nominated:
Robert Norman William Blake, Baron Blake,, was an English historian and peer. He is best known for his 1966 biography of Benjamin Disraeli, and for The Conservative Party from Peel to Churchill, which grew out of his 1968 Ford lectures.
Magdalen College is one of the wealthiest constituent colleges of the University of Oxford, with an estimated financial endowment of £180.8 million as of 2014.
Christ Church is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. Christ Church is a joint foundation of the college and the cathedral of the Oxford diocese, which serves as the college chapel and whose dean is ex officio the college head.
The election attracted huge levels of publicity, at times likened to a parliamentary by-election.Much of the attention focused upon the Jenkins and Heath campaigns, whilst Blake was seen as a non-political candidate. Payne was regarded as an outsider.
Much attention was focused on the issue of government funding for universities, with Oxford facing the effects of cuts in its funding, leading to several chairs being left unfilled.
The requirement for those voting to do so in academic dress resulted in the local tailor selling out. One tactic of the supporters of Jenkins was to lend gowns to voters lacking them.
Polling ran until 14 March 1987. The results were as follows:
|Roy Jenkins elected|
Roy Harris Jenkins, Baron Jenkins of Hillhead, was a British Labour Party, SDP and Liberal Democrat politician, and biographer of British political leaders.
Sir Edward Richard George Heath, often known as Ted Heath, was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1970 to 1974 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1965 to 1975. He was a strong supporter of the European Communities (EC), and after winning the decisive vote in the House of Commons by 336 to 244, he led the negotiations that culminated in Britain's entry into the EC on 1 January 1973. It was, says biographer John Campbell, "Heath's finest hour". Although he planned to be an innovator as Prime Minister, his government foundered on economic difficulties, including high inflation and major strikes. He became an embittered critic of Margaret Thatcher, who supplanted him as Tory leader.
Iain Norman Macleod was a British Conservative Party politician and government minister.
Anthony Perrinott Lysberg Barber, Baron Barber, TD, PC, DL was a British Conservative politician who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Peter Wynford Innes Rees, Baron Rees, was a British politician and barrister. He was Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Dover and Deal from 1974 to 1983 and MP for Dover from 1970 to 1974 and 1983 to 1987. He was Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 1983 until 1985. He was created a life peer as Baron Rees of Goytre in 1987.
Cambridge University was a university constituency electing two members to the British House of Commons, from 1603 to 1950.
Oxford University was a university constituency electing two members to the British House of Commons, from 1603 to 1950. The last two members to represent Oxford University when it was abolished were A. P. Herbert and Arthur Salter.
Edward Heath of the Conservative Party formed the Heath ministry and was appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom by Queen Elizabeth II on 19 June 1970, following the 18 June general election. Heath's ministry ended after the February 1974 general election, which produced a hung parliament, leading to the formation of a minority government by Harold Wilson of the Labour Party.
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The 1925 University of Oxford election for the position of Chancellor was called upon the death of the incumbent Chancellor, George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston on 20 March 1925.
The Oxford by-election, 1938 was a parliamentary by-election for the British House of Commons constituency of Oxford, held on 27 October 1938. The by-election was triggered when Robert Croft Bourne, the sitting Conservative Member of Parliament died on 7 August 1938. He had served as MP for the constituency since a 1924 by-election.
Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 4 May 1979 to 28 November 1990, during which time she led a Conservative government. She was the first woman to hold that office. During her premiership, Thatcher moved to liberalise the British economy through deregulation, privatisation, and the promotion of entrepreneurialism.
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The 2003 University of Oxford election for the position of Chancellor was called upon the death of the incumbent Chancellor, Roy Jenkins, Baron Jenkins of Hillhead on 5 January 2003.
Margaret Thatcher became the first female Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition after winning the 1975 leadership election, the first Conservative leadership election where the post was not vacant. A rule change to enable the election was largely prompted by dissatisfaction with the incumbent leader, Edward Heath, who had lost three of four general elections as leader, including two in 1974. After announcing her first Shadow Cabinet in February 1975, she reshuffled it twice: in January and November 1976. Minor subsequent changes were necessary to respond to various circumstances. Thatcher's Shadow Cabinet ceased to exist upon her becoming Prime Minister following the 1979 general election.
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