TORY MP Nicola Blackwood has revealed the secret to her election campaign success in Oxford West and Abingdon.

Miss Blackwood, left, took the seat by less than 200 votes from long serving Lib Dem Evan Harris in a contest that went to the wire.

On election day itself, she was still pounding the pavements and knocking on doors across the constituency in a bid to win vital support.

But at one house, the prospective candidate revealed she got a less than welcome reception from a pet dog.

The owner was so apologetic she immediately promised to rush out and vote Conservative.

  • Much has been made of Oxford University’s prolific record in turning out future PMs, cabinet members and captains of industry in the post-election frenzy of analysis. And talk has inevitably turned to whether privilege unduly shapes our society.

But, with graduation season upon the city again, and our future leaders roaming the streets clothed in celebratory black tie, flour and Champagne, it is important to remember that these students are in touch with the common man, and their educational experience is no different from thousands of others across the county.

The common man they were in touch with this week was Hollywood star Hugh Grant, who dropped in unannounced at one graduation bash, according to university magazine Cherwell.

  • Back in Westminster, Ed Vaizey’s twitter feed reads like a rolling reference for his new job as Minister for Culture and proves why he is just the man for the job.

Regular tweets show the prolific attendance by the Wantage MP, pictured, at events, parties and fayres that range from the Hay on Wye book festival to Grove Primary School’s fete.

Followers get an interesting insight into Mr Vaizey’s take on a “new era of European co-operation” which involved giving a twinning speech in “Franglais”.

But perhaps the highlight was the MP’s obvious loosening of the tie when he attended the 60th birthday bash of venerable singer-songwriter Tom Robinson.

At 9.39pm, with Ed fresh from a formal do at the British Museum, we get the rather ministerial tweet of: “At Tom Robinson’s 60th birthday gig. Lots of support for 6Music, naturally.”

But two hours later, at 11.17pm, the MP is really in the swing of things tweeting “All together now... 2,4,6,8”, no doubt fists pumping to the Tom Robinson Band’s 1977 hit.