Friday 13 December 2019 11:34 am

General Election night: Who are the big MP casualties?

As Frankie Valli once sang, oh what a night. On a night of a seismic shift in the UK’s political landscape, there were some huge MP casualties.

Boris Johnson’s Conservatives delivered a resounding victory in a pivotal General Election that saw a throng of Labour seats turn blue.

The Tories won in London seats such as Kensington and Golders Green as well as eradicating Labour’s northern stronghold seats.

Read more: Boris Johnson says NHS ‘big priority’ in election victory speech

Read more: Election survivors: All the MPs who just held onto their seats

Read more: Election night live: Watch the last results roll in

There were some big scalps on election night, and not just for Labour.

Here are all the biggest names who voters pushed out of politics on a night of high stakes and high drama.

All the MP casualties from this election:

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson

General election: MP casualties
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson reacts as she loses her seat at the East Dunbartonshire count

Jo Swinson lost her Dunbartonshire East seat by just 149 votes to the Scottish National Party candidate, Amy Callaghan. 

Perhaps the biggest of the MP casualties, Swinson remains leader of the Lib Dems for now but she had only just taken the reins of the party when the election campaign got underway.

“Some will be celebrating the wave of nationalism that is sweeping on both sides of the borders,” Swinson said today.

“But let me say now, for millions of people in our country these results will bring dread and dismay.”

She tried to finish on a note of hope, adding: “I still believe that we as a country can be warm and generous inclusive and open and that by working together with our nearest neighbours we can achieve so much more.”

Swinson, 39, became an MP in 2005 and served until 2015 when she lost to the SNP, regaining her seat in 2017.

It capped off a miserable night for the Lib Dems that also saw ex-Labour MPs Luciana Berger and Chuka Umunna fall foul of voters.

The Lib Dems have won just 10 parliamentary seats – a drop of one – as the election draws to a close.

Former London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith

General election: Zac Goldsmith loses seat
Brexiter Zac Goldsmith has been ousted by Remain-voting Richmond

However, the Lib Dems did perform well in Richmond, to oust ex-London mayor candidate Zac Goldsmith from his seat.

Goldsmith was toppled by the Lib Dems’ pro-Remain agenda, which ushered in candidate Sarah Olney with 34,559 votes.

Goldsmith won just 26,793 as the Lib Dems reversed the 2017 result when Olney lost the seat to the Tory.

But Goldsmith paid for his staunch Brexiter views in a constituency that voted 72 per cent to Remain.

Goldsmith said “all good things must come to an end”, but said he was “over the moon” at the (at that point) predicted Conservative majority.

He said the country could “finally move forward and get Brexit done”.

DUP deputy leader (and Westminster leader) Nigel Dodds

Former leader of the DUP in Westminster Nigel Dodds lost his north Belfast seat to Sinn Fein

The DUP’s Nigel Dodds was the biggest victim as Northern Ireland’s political map was redrawn.

Dodds has held the North Belfast seat since 2001 but voters pushed him out in favour of Sinn Fein. The withdrawal of the Ulster Unionist Party and SDLP appeared to have concentrated the vote against Dodds, however.

Sinn Fein’s John Finucane received 23,078 votes to beat Dodds’s 21,135 votes, prompting the winner to say the constituency “rejects Brexit”.

Dodds was a key part of negotiations between the DUP and the Tories on the government’s Brexit strategy, and refused to back former PM Theresa May’s Brexit deal three times. But the DUP’s influence has waned since Johnson took charge and now Dodds is among the election night’s MP casualties.

Labour shadow environment secretary Sue Hayman

General election: MP casualties
Sue Hayman (left) was another Jeremy Corbyn ally rejected by voters

Sue Hayman, a Corbyn ally in the Labour party, lost her seat to the Tories in Workington in what was once a stronghold Labour seat.

Conservative Mark Jenkinson beat Hayman with a majority of 4,176 in the Cumbrian seat.

Labour had held the seat since 1918 apart from a three-year gap when the Tories controlled it.

But right wing think tank Onward developed a Workington Man concept as a profile of a white working-class voter in “rugby league towns”. These were traditional Labour voters who supported Brexit and rejected Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The party has perhaps suffered the most on a night of MP casualties.

Shadow secretary of state for employment rights Laura Pidcock

Shadow secretary of state for employment rights, Laura Pidcock

Another major Labour casualty arrived in shadow minister Laura Pidcock. The shadow secretary of state for employent rights narrowly lost in another Tory rout.

The Conservatives’ Richard Holden won the vote by 1,144 votes to claim the Durham North West seat. Pidcock, 32, enjoyed an 8,000-vote majority in 2017.

The Corbyn ally had been tipped as a possible successor to Tom Watson as deputy leader.

Lib Dem MP Chuka Umunna

Chuka Umunna lost his bid to become an MP for the Cities seat
Chuka Umunna lost his bid to become an MP for the Cities seat

While former Labour star Chuka Umunna was technically without a seat going into the General Election 2019.

The ex-Streatham MP gave up that seat when he quit Labour over fierce internal division over its on-the-fence Brexit stance.

Umunna helped form Change UK, but jumped ship to the Lib Dems after the centrist party’s appalling European elections performance.

However, he failed to win the Cities of London & Westminster seat in the heart of London’s financial district for Jo Swinson.

Instead he lost to Conservative candidate Nickie Aiken. She won 17,049 votes to decisively beat Umunna’s 13,096.

“We must respect the choice the people have made today, both to re-elect Boris Johnson and the Conservatives into government, and for Labour to continue as the official opposition,” Umunna said after his defeat.

“I wish them the very best – it is in all our interests that they live up to the trust invested in them today.”

He said the Lib Dems still had a “vital role” to play in centrist UK politics. Doubts are now growing over Umunna’s role in politics following the loss.

Lib Dem and ex-Labour MP Luciana Berger

Actor Jason Isaacs campaigns with Lib Dem MP Luciana Berger
Actor Jason Isaacs campaigns with Lib Dem MP Luciana Berger

Another Labour deserter, Berger quit Corbyn’s party earlier this year over its failure to deal effectively with its antisemitism crisis.

However, she became another ill-fated Lib Dem when she ran for the party in the hotly contested Finchley & Golders Green seat.

Labour, which reportedly sent activists to the north London seat last night in a bid to drum up support for their candidate, came third but helped split the vote.

Read more: Businesses now ‘eager for clarity’ after Tory election win

That ensured Conservative Mike Freer held onto his seat with the lion’s share of the vote, counting 24,162 votes.

Berger’s challenge fell away, with the politician getting 17,600 and Labour’s Ross Houston winning 13,347 votes.

Berger was a rising star under Ed Miliband’s leadership in 2015 but complained of Corbyn’s failure to tackle antisemitism when she quit.

She has also spoken out about rape and death threats against female MPs like herself online.

Tory rebel Dominic Grieve

Dominic Grieve found himself out of a job this morning
Dominic Grieve found himself out of a job this morning

The Prime Minister will be delighted not only with his election triumph, but with being able to wave goodbye to Dominic Grieve, long a thorn in the government’s side.

Once attorney general on David Cameron’s watch, Grieve’s Remain sensibilities and despair at the lack of a Brexit deal has since seen him attack Johnson, and former PM Theresa May.

In fact, Grieve was one of 21 Tory rebels who took a stand against the government by voting against it in a parliamentary stand-off in order to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

Johnson promptly booted them out of the Tory party.

Standing in this election as an independent candidate for Beaconsfield, Grieve saw his 22 years as an MP come to a sorry conclusion when he lost to the Conservative candidate.

The Tories’ Joy Morrissey defeated him by a very wide margin of 15,712 votes.

Remainer Anna Soubry

Remainer Anna Soubry lost heavily in her constituency to Labour and the Tories
Remainer Anna Soubry lost heavily in her constituency to Labour and the Tories

Before the Tory rebels, a mix of Tory and Labour MPs upped sticks to form their very own party and sit in The Independent Group.

Former defence minister Anna Soubry was one of these defectors, alongside the aforementioned Berger and Umunna.

Read more: Record number of female MPs now set to enter parliament

Unfortunately for Soubry, she lost her Broxtowe seat overnight by a huge margin – to both the Tories and Labour – to join the list of MP casualties.

Conservative candidate Darren Henry won by a comfortable 5,000-vote margin with 26,602 votes. He was followed in second place by Labour’s Greg Marshall, who scored 21,271 votes.

But Soubry ended her time as an MP with a paltry count of just 4,668 votes.


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