Hosted by Theo Davies-Lewis


The First Count is a current affairs show which brings you the latest news up the General Election on June 8th. Presenter Theo Davies-Lewis speaks to world leading academics, journalists and Oxford students about the latest developments in the campaign, and how it affects university students. The weekly podcast is produced to inform and educate about the most pressing matters as they emerge: from examining the role of the media in elections to discussing the current state of student politics, The First Count is an Oxford student's best source for the latest news in the political scene at a local and national level.


lord michael heseltine Special

In a special episode of The First Count, Theo Davies-Lewis speaks exclusively to former Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State, Lord Michael Heseltine. 

Known as "Hezza" and "Tarzan" through his political career, Lord Heseltine was an MP from 1966-2001. He was also Environmental Secretary and Defence Secretary under Margaret Thatcher - later being credited with bringing down the Prime Minister with a leadership bid in 1990. He is also a former President of the Oxford Union and a highly successful businessman, who has amassed a fortune of £250m. Broadcast from Thenford House, Lord Heseltine reflects on the influence of Oxford over his life, his regrets under Margaret Thatcher, why he believes the UK will join the Euro, the validity of the Brexit vote, and the future of Theresa May and the Conservative Party.


Episode 16

Andrew Graham is former economic advisor to Harold Wilson and John Smith.  He was also formerly a Director of the Scott Trust, which owns The Guardian and The Observer, and is now a Senior Fellow of the Oxford Internet Institute, and Chair of the Academic Council of the Europaeum. He was formerly the Master of Balliol College, Oxford. He speaks to Theo Davies-Lewis about the state of our economy over the last few years, the future for students after Brexit, and his memories of his father - who wrote the popular series Poldark on BBC.


Episode 15

The issue of class has become incredibly important in human society. Theo Davies-Lewis speaks to Geoffrey Evans of Nuffield College about how Tony Blair isolated working class voters, what the EU referendum did to divide our society, and how the Grenfell tower fire has exposed the inequality of our society event further.


Episode 14

Sir David Butler is an English social scientist and psephologist, who has worked on election analysis and polling since 1950. He was involved with BBC election night broadcasts from 1950-1979, as well as with Sky News and ITV years later. At 93, he tells The First Count host, Theo Davies-Lewis, about his run-ins with Winston Churchill, the contrast between David and Richard Dimbleby, and why polling is here to stay



Turning to some of the issues facing Oxford in the next few years, Theo Davies-Lewis speaks to the Leader of Oxford City Council, Bob Price, about the issues of homelessness and housing in the city, as well as the opportunities ahead for Oxford and the University in the future.



As the news comes in about a hung U.K. parliament, Theo Davies-Lewis speaks to Lord Stewart Wood of Anfield, a former special advisor to Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband.


episode 11

The internet has come to dominate our way of life and our political system. Platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Snapchat are embedded in our society. Joining Theo Davies-Lewis in the Oxide Radio studio is Helen Margetts, Director of the Oxford Internet Institute. She has published over 100 books, articles and research reports specialising in digital era governance and politics. In this episode, Margetts discusses the role of social media in elections, the positive and negative impacts of the internet, as well as the power of big data companies in democracies. 


episode 10

In the tenth episode of The First Count, Theo Davies-Lewis investigates the effectiveness of counter-terrorism strategies with Dr Jessie Blackbourn: a Research Fellow in the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford. Theo and Jessie to discuss the success of the PREVENT strategies, how the election may shape anti-terror policy, as well as the threat to Oxford.


Episode 09

Former BBC Radio 4 and Radio 7 controller Mark Damazer speaks to Theo Davies-Lewis about his experiences at the heart of the BBC, the acquisition of talent for shows such as Today, and the chaos of election debates in this year's election. Mark is now Master at St. Peter's College, Oxford.



Britain's state services are always an incredibly important issue during election campaigns. On this episode of The First Count, Theo Davies-Lewis speaks to Professor Jane Gingrich from Magdalen College, Oxford. Professor Gingrich discusses how social policy has changed in the U.S. and the U.K. over the last few decades, the privatisation of the NHS, and how broader institutional  change has altered attitudes to government.


Episode 07

Theo Davies-Lewis speaks to Jan Zielonka, Professor of European Politics and Ralf Dahrendorf Fellow, St Antony's College, about the changing nature of power in Europe. Zielonka argues that media has become increasingly partisan in the UK and across Europe, the power of Germany has grown, and that the current political climate means it is unpredictable what will happen in the next five years in Europe.


Episode 06

Dr Ben Jackson, Associate Professor in Modern History at the University of Oxford, has a wide variety of research areas that are relevant to the 2017 General Election. In this episode of The First Count, Dr Jackson discuss a wide range of issues - from Thatcherism and Scottish Nationalism - and what it means for us today ahead of June 8th.


Episode 05

Richard Sambrook spent over three decades at the heart of the BBC. In his time at the corporation, he was the Director of Sport, Director of News, and Head of the BBC World Service. In this interview with Theo Davies-Lewis, Sambrook reflects on his career - including his difficult moments as Director of News during the Iraq War, the importance of the World Service, and the need for reform within broadcasting.



Oxford's Director of Brexit, Prof. Alastair Buchan, speaks to Oxide Radio's The First Count about the challenges he has faced in the role so far, the policy initiatives he is championing, and what Brexit means to the whole country.


episode 03

In this episode of The First Count, Theo Davies-Lewis speaks to Stephen Fisher, Tutor and Fellow at Trinity College, Oxford, and one of the leading pollsters in the country. He was one of the only figures to predict the Conservative victory in the 2015 election. Mr. Fisher describes how polling analysis works, how polling has developed over the last decade, and what the polls are telling us about the upcoming election on June 8th.


Episode 02

The First Count welcomes Alan Rusbridger, former Editor of the Guardian newspaper (1995-2015) and Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, to discuss the relationship between politics and the media - including his experiences as editor of a national newspaper, his relationship with Tony Blair, and whether student journalism is worthwhile.


Episode 01

Theo Davies-Lewis speaks to the leaders of the student political parties in Oxford about the General Election campaign, the role of parties in modern Britain, and student politics in the University.