University of Oxford Chancellor election, 2003

Last updated
University of Oxford Chancellor election, 2003

Flag of the United Kingdom.svg

  1987 14 and 15 March 2003TBA 

  Thomas Bingham, Baron Bingham of Cornhill.jpg
Candidate Chris Patten Lord Bingham of Cornhill Lord Neill of Bladen
Party Conservative Independent Crossbench
Popular vote4,2032,4831,470

Chancellor before election

Lord Jenkins of Hillhead

Elected Chancellor

Chris Patten

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.

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.

Roy Jenkins British politician, historian and writer

Roy Harris Jenkins, Baron Jenkins of Hillhead, was a British Labour Party, SDP and Liberal Democrat politician, and biographer of British political leaders.



The electorate consisted of all members of the University holding the rank of MA. Votes had to be cast in person at Oxford. 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.

It was the first such election to be held in which voters were not required to wear academic dress to vote. It was also the first election to use the single transferable vote, after the previous election by first past the post in 1987 saw two conservative candidates (Robert Blake, Baron Blake and Sir Edward Heath) splitting the conservative vote at 2,500 each, allowing social democrat Roy Jenkins to win with 3,500 votes.

Academic dress of the University of Oxford

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

The single transferable vote (STV) is a voting system designed to achieve proportional representation through ranked voting in multi-seat organizations or constituencies. Under STV, an elector (voter) has a single vote that is initially allocated to their most preferred candidate. Votes are totalled and a quota derived. If their candidate achieves quota, he/she is elected and in some STV systems any surplus vote is transferred to other candidates in proportion to the voters' stated preferences. If more candidates than seats remain, the bottom candidate is eliminated with his/her votes being transferred to other candidates as determined by the voters' stated preferences. These elections and eliminations, and vote transfers if applicable, continue until there are only as many candidates as there are unfilled seats. The specific method of transferring votes varies in different systems.

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.


Four candidates were nominated:

The Keeper or Master of the Rolls and Records of the Chancery of England, known as the Master of the Rolls, is the second-most senior judge in England and Wales after the Lord Chief Justice, and serves as President of the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal and Head of Civil Justice. The position dates from at least 1286, although it is believed that the office probably existed earlier than that.

Patrick Neill, Baron Neill of Bladen British politician and life peer

Francis Patrick Neill, Baron Neill of Bladen was a British barrister and cross bench member of the House of Lords.

All Souls College, Oxford college of the University of Oxford

All Souls College is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England.

The campaign

For much of the race, Chris Patten was generally considered to be the front-runner, due to his high profile as the last Governor of Hong Kong. [2] The bookmaker William Hill offered odds of 7/4 for Mr Patten, 9/4 for Lord Bingham, 11/4 for Lord Neill, and 3/1 for Toksvig. [3]

Bookmaker organization or person that takes bets on sporting events

A bookmaker, bookie, or turf accountant is an organization or a person that accepts and pays off bets on sporting and other events at agreed-upon odds.

William Hill plc is a bookmaker based in Wood Green, London, England. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

Sandi Toksvig was the candidate most vociferously opposed to the government's proposed top-up fees, and so received the endorsement of the Oxford University Student Union. However, as most of the union's members were undergraduates, they did not have a vote in the election itself. [4] Lord Neill also declared himself opposed to top-up fees, but said in his candidates' statement that he preferred not to make this the basis of his campaign. [1]

Oxford University Student Union

The Oxford University Student Union is the official students' union of the University of Oxford. It is better known in Oxford under the branding Oxford SU. It exists to represent Oxford University students in the University's decision-making, to act as the voice for students in the national higher education policy debate, and to provide direct services to the student body. It is not to be confused with the Oxford Union debating society, which, although similarly named, is a separate private club with no representative functions. The current president is Anisha Faruk, a Bangladeshi origin student.


Polling ran over two days, on 14 and 15 March 2003. The results went to two rounds before one candidate secured more than 50% of the vote.

First round [5]

Chris Patten 3,65743.66
Lord Bingham of Cornhill 2,25126.87
Lord Neill of Bladen 1,29015.40
Sandi Toksvig 1,17914.07
Sandi Toksvig eliminated

Second round [5]

Chris Patten 4,20351.53
Lord Bingham of Cornhill 2,48330.44
Lord Neill of Bladen 1,47018.02
Chris Patten elected

See also


  1. 1 2 "UK | England | Statements released in chancellor race". BBC News. 2003-03-08. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
  2. Mount, Harry (2003-03-15). "Patten ahead in race to be Oxford's new chancellor". Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
  3. [ dead link ]
  4. "UK | Education | Oxford students back Toksvig". BBC News. 2003-03-11. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
  5. 1 2 "Patten accepts 'tall order' of leading Oxford in hard times - Education News, Education". The Independent. 2003-03-18. Retrieved 2011-06-10.

Related Research Articles

Chris Patten British politician and colonial administrator

Christopher Francis Patten, Baron Patten of Barnes, is a British politician who served as the 28th and final Governor of Hong Kong from 1992–1997. He has been a crossbench member of the British House of Lords since 2005 and a former British Conservative politician until 2011, as Member of Parliament (MP) for Bath from 1979 to 1992.

Sandi Toksvig Danish-British comedian, writer and activist

Sandra Birgitte Toksvig, is a British-Danish writer, broadcaster, actor and producer on British radio, stage, and television. She is also a political activist, having co-founded the Women's Equality Party in 2015. She has written plays, novels, and books for children. She was arguably the first woman in British public life to come out as a lesbian, in 1994.

Emily Lau Hong Kong politician

Emily Lau Wai-hing, JP is a politician in Hong Kong who champions press freedom and human rights. A former journalist, she became the first woman directly elected to the Legislative Council of Hong Kong in the 1991 LegCo elections. She served as Legislative Councillor for the New Territories East throughout the 1990s and 2000s until she stepped down in 2016. She was also the chairperson of the Democratic Party.

Lord Patten may refer to two British politicians:

Tom Bingham, Baron Bingham of Cornhill British judge

Thomas Henry Bingham, Baron Bingham of Cornhill, was an eminent British judge and jurist who served as Master of the Rolls, Lord Chief Justice and Senior Law Lord. He was widely recognized as the greatest judge and lawyer of his generation. Baroness Hale of Richmond observed that his pioneering role in the formation of the United Kingdom Supreme Court may be his most important and long-lasting legacy. Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers regarded Bingham as 'one of the two great legal figures of my lifetime in the law'.

2004 Hong Kong legislative election

The 2004 Hong Kong Legislative Council election was held on 12 September 2004 for members of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong (LegCo). The election returned 30 members from directly elected geographical constituencies and 30 members from functional constituencies, of which 11 were unopposed.

John Hood (university administrator) New Zealand academic administrator

Sir John Antony Hood is a New Zealand businessman and administrator. He was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford from 5 October 2004 until 30 September 2009. He was the first Vice-Chancellor to be elected from outside Oxford's academic body in 900 years, and the first to have addressed the scholars' congregation via a webcast. In March 2007 New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark awarded him the World Class New Zealand supreme award to honour his contribution to profiling New Zealand and New Zealanders internationally. On 15 November 2007 he announced that he would not seek an extension to his five-year term as Vice Chancellor, and that he would leave Oxford in September 2009.

Peter Rees, Baron Rees British politician, Cabinet Minister and life peer.

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.

1997 Conservative Party (UK) leadership election

The 1997 Conservative Party leadership election was triggered in the British Conservative Party when John Major resigned on 2 May 1997, following his party's landslide defeat at the 1997 general election, which ended 18 years of Conservative Government of the United Kingdom. Major had been Conservative leader and Prime Minister since November 1990.

Oxford and Cambridge Club gentlemans club in London, England

The Oxford and Cambridge Club is a traditional London Club. The Club is the result of a number of amalgamations of university clubs, most recently that of 1972 between the United University Club, founded in 1821, and the Oxford and Cambridge University Club, founded in 1830. From 1972 until 2001 the Club was known as the United Oxford and Cambridge University Club, in 2001 it reverted to its original name of the Oxford and Cambridge Club. In June 2017 the Club elected its first female Chair.

1996 Hong Kong Chief Executive election

The 1996 Hong Kong Chief Executive election was held on 11 December 1996 to select the first Chief Executive (CE) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) which term started from 1 July 1997 after the Chinese resumption of the sovereignty of Hong Kong from the British rule. It was selected by the 400-member Selection Committee installed by the Government of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Tung Chee-hwa, a Shanghai-born Hong Kong businessman who was seen being favoured by Jiang Zemin, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, was the ultimate winner of the election, defeating former Chief Justice Ti-liang Yang and tycoon Peter Woo with a large margin.

Mary O'Neill is a politician and former member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.

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.

The Chancellor is the titular head of the University of Edinburgh. Their duties include conferring degrees, promoting the University's image throughout the world, and furthering its interests, both within Scotland and beyond.

2011 University of Cambridge Chancellor election

The University of Cambridge Chancellor election, 2011 refers to a rare instance of a contested election for this position of Chancellor that occurred in October 2011, resulting in the choice of Lord Sainsbury of Turville to succeed the retiring incumbent Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The Duke had retired on 30 June 2011, shortly after his 90th birthday, having been Chancellor since December 1976. Three other candidates were nominated to oppose the candidate proposed by the university's Nomination Board; the post was won by Lord Sainsbury with 52% of the vote, with a simple majority required to avoid a runoff. Contesting the post were actor Brian Blessed, who finished second with 25% of the votes cast, barrister Michael Mansfield, QC with 17%, and local grocery-owner Abdul Arain with 6%. The election was the first time the Chancellorship had been contested since 1950, and the first actively fought contest since 1847. Although the election was conducted by the single transferable vote system, no transfers of votes were needed as Sainsbury secured a majority of first preference votes.

Pang Chun-hoi, MBE was a trade unionist and a member of the member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong (1985–95) for the Labour constituency. He was also vice-president of the Hong Kong and Kowloon Trades Union Council, a pro-Kuomintang union, and chairman of the Cotton Industry Workers' General Union.

1994 Hong Kong electoral reform

The 1994 Hong Kong electoral reform was a set of significant constitutional changes in the last years of British colonial rule in Hong Kong before the handover of its sovereignty to the People's Republic of China on 1 July 1997. The reform proposal was carried out by the last governor Chris Patten to largely broaden the electorate base of the last three-tiers elections in 1994 and 1995:

Womens Equality Party political party from the United Kingdom

The Women's Equality Party is a feminist political party set up in the United Kingdom in 2015. The idea was conceived by Catherine Mayer and Sandi Toksvig at the Women of the World Festival, when they concluded that there was a need for a party to campaign for gender equality to the benefit of all. The launch meeting was on 28 March 2015 under the title "The Women's Equality Party needs you. But probably not as much as you need the Women's Equality Party". The party's full policy was launched by its then leader, Sophie Walker, at Conway Hall, on 20 October 2015. The party's interim leader is Mandu Reid.