The much-vaunted political earthquake that has shaken town halls and national party leaders the length and breadth of Britain has failed to cause tremors in Oxfordshire.

The political landscape this week appears remarkably unchanged, save for the gloomy gaggle of Lib Dem councillors here and gang of grinning Labour Party activists there.

It is tempting to think that locally it is almost business as usual, with Labour predictably strengthening its hold on Oxford city, as it fully should expect to (at least in normal times) when a Conservative is the occupant of 10 Downing Street.

In the Tory heartlands of rural Oxfordshire, the Conservative vote held steady.

And while the rest of the country was busy wiping the Lib Dems off the political map in the European elections, the voters here did something unique by returning a Lib Dem to Brussels, or is it Strasbourg: come to think of it, it’s probably both. With the red-eyed Nick Clegg fighting for survival and a large section of his party blaming him for last week’s humiliations, the success of Catherine Bearder and those Lib Dem councillors who held on to their seats suggests that Oxfordshire, particularly Oxford West and Abingdon, will be one of those fortresses where the party will now have to focus its energies in the next 12 months.

Given the regularity of Nick Clegg’s visits to the county in recent weeks and the size of the student population, the success of local Lib Dems is all the more commendable.

There was the odd strong performance by Green candidates, who came second to Labour in the city, but there has been no UKIP tidal wave sweeping into Oxfordshire from the Midlands or South East.

The main parties would be wise to note in wards in Banbury and Kidlington and Witney UKIP secured votes in excess of 500 coming second to the Tories in many places, but certainly no pubs brimming with jubilant kippers.

Despite four of the South East’s 10 MEPs being from UKIP, the party didn’t come first in any of Oxfordshire’s districts, and came fifth in Oxford. It is tempting to believe this is because UKIP’s two most potent weapons — concern over levels of immigration and the desire to quit Europe — do not have the same resonance here as elsewhere.

The county’s major employers — the health service, the two universities, major research companies and, of course, BMW — all depend on bringing in staff from abroad, and have done for decades. It is true that the county is going to struggle to build sufficient homes to meet the growing population, with continuing pressure on already full-to-the brim primary schools, but crucially Oxfordshire was spared much of the pain of the economic down town.

Its economic prospects have rarely looked brighter, with investment pouring in, creating thousands of new jobs. Put it down to affluence and self- interest, or being liberal and civilised, or perhaps simply continuing a long tradition of welcoming newcomers to what in any case has always been a transient population, but Oxfordshire looks like remaining the ultimate hard nut to crack for UKIP.