University of Oxford Chancellor election, 1987

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University of Oxford Chancellor election, 1987

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  1960 14 March 1987 2003  

  Roy Jenkins 1977b.jpg No image.svg Heathdod.JPG
Candidate Roy Jenkins Lord Blake Edward Heath
Party Social Democratic Conservative Conservative
Popular vote3,2492,6742,348
Percentage39.132.229.3

  No image.svg
Candidate Mark Payne
Party Independent
Popular vote38
Percentage0.5

Chancellor before election

Harold Macmillan

Elected Chancellor

Roy Jenkins

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.

Harold Macmillan former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

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.

Contents

Electorate

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.

University of Oxford University in Oxford, United Kingdom

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.

Academic dress of the University of Oxford

The University of Oxford has a long tradition of academic dress, which continues to the present day.

Potential candidates

The forthcoming election generated much interest, and several names were raised in the press as potential candidates, including: [1]

Harold Wilson former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

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.

James Callaghan 20th-century former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

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.

Alec Douglas-Home former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

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. [2]

Candidates 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, Oxford constituent college of the University of Oxford in England

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, Oxford constituent college of the University of Oxford in England

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.

Course of the election

The election attracted huge levels of publicity, at times likened to a parliamentary by-election. [3] 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. [4]

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. [4]

Result

Polling ran until 14 March 1987. The results were as follows: [5]

CandidateVotes%
Roy Jenkins 3,24939.1
Lord Blake 2,67432.2
Edward Heath 2,34829.3
Mark Payne 380.5
Turnout8,309
Roy Jenkins elected

See also

Notes

  1. "Finding a dark blue horse". The Guardian . 10 January 1987.
  2. "The buzz begins on an Oxford successor". The Guardian . 21 January 1987.
  3. "Oxford's scholarly voters catch by-election fever". The Times . 8 March 1987.
  4. 1 2 "What a swell party this is ..And, by the way, we also elected a chancellor – The triumph of Roy Jenkins". The Times . 15 March 1987.
  5. "Jenkins wins the Oxford vote". The Times . 15 March 1987.

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