It turns out that Andrew Smith, long-standing and much respected local MP, is stepping down before the next election. He is the kind of widely respected local politician that many in Oxford East probably vote for despite his party affiliation. Although he held cabinet positions between 1994 and 2004, he stepped back to maintain his local focus and has been a tireless campaigner for many local causes.
Oxford East will probably continue to remain a little red dot in the sea of blue that engulfs middle England. However, although I would have held onto this as a certainty under Smith, it remains to see if that can be maintained.