Political big beasts who lost their seats in general election bloodbath

Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson was the ­biggest casualty in last night’s shock electoral bloodbath.

She only took the party reins in July but was booted out by voters in East Dunbartonshire as SNP rival Amy Callaghan beat her by just 149.

Ms Swinson, 39, joined DUP Westminster leader Nigel Dodds, Tory Brexiteer Zac Goldsmith and Shadow Cabinet member Sue Hayman in being ousted.

The defeat was a huge embarrassment for her after waging a presidential-style election campaign with her face plastered across the battle bus.

But instead of trying to revive Lib Dem fortunes in its former heartlands of the South West, she targeted Remain-supporting areas of London and the Home Counties.

Astonishingly, she repeatedly claimed she was a genuine contender to become PM.

Her voice cracking with emotion last night, Ms Swinson congratulated her opponent but said: “Tonight we have seen that it looks likely that Boris Johnson is on course to get a majority, and its clearly a good night for the SNP.

“Some will be celebrating the wave of nationalism that is sweeping on both sides of the border. These are significant results for the future of our country. These results will bring read and dismay – people are looking for hope.”

Her defeat means the Lib Dems are now expected to be searching for a fourth leader in less than three years.


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Other big names to go included Labour ’s Mary Creagh in Wakefield, Melanie Onn in Grimsby, Caroline Flint in Don Valley and Laura Pidcock in North West Durham.

Ms Pidcock, a key ally of Jeremy Corbyn , had been touted as future leader by his supporters.

Labour was frustrated in its attempt to oust Iain Duncan Smith in Chingford and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab scraped home despite a strong challenge from the Lib Dems in Esther and Walton.

And there were sighs of relief as Labour party chair Ian Lavery survived by the skin of his teeth in Wansbeck.

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds was ousted in Belfast North by Sinn Fein’s John Finucane.


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Sinn Fein won the seat with 23,078 votes to the DUP’s 21,125 – the first time the seat has fallen to the republicans since partition.

Former Labour veteran MP Frank Field was ousted in Birkenhead after becoming an independent. The chair of the Work and Pensions Committee was not realistically expected to keep his seat. Labour took it with a 17,705 majority, with Mr Field coming second on 7,285.

Mr Field was never afraid to challenge the Labour leadership, most recently over Brexit when he repeatedly voted with the Tory government.

As a result, he lost a confidence vote in his constituency party, then quit the Labour group in Parliament.

Mr Field, who entered Parliament in 1979, has been a fierce critic of Universal Credit , describing it as being as disastrous as the poll tax.

And despite nominating him, he has been a vocal critic of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership – ­especially over the anti-Semitism row that has rocked the party recently.

Chuka Umunna, who was Labour's shadow business minister, defected first to the Independent Group, then eventually to the Liberal Democrats, failed in his bid to be re-elected in Cities of London and Westminster.

Shadow Environment Secretary Sue Hayman was ousted in Workington, Cumbria – the town which was identified early in the campaign as potentially holding the key to a Tory triumph.

Right-wing think-tank Onward claimed “Workington Man” was the type of voter the Conservatives needed to win over – a Brexit-supporting, older, white, non-graduate male from the North of England with an interest in rugby league and a tendency to vote Labour.

Critics blasted the portrait as crude. But voters in the Labour heartland backed Mr Johnson over their well-liked Labour candidate, Ms Hayman. She saw her 3,925 majority vanish in a 9.7% swing to Mark Jenkinson, who secured a majority of 4,176, as she became the first big scalp of the night.


  • Tory minister Zac Goldsmith loses his Richmond Park seat

Brexiteer Tory Zac Goldsmith lost his ­Richmond Park seat to the Lib Dems by 7,766 votes. The environmentalist was defeated by old rival Sarah Olney, who he beat to the ultra-marginal seat by just 45 votes in 2017.

He was made an environment minister, attending cabinet, when Boris Johnson took over as Tory leader.

Mr Goldsmith – who ran to be London Mayor in 2016 but lost to Sadiq Khan – had been tipped for further promotion but could yet make a comeback in the House of Lords.

He ran a disturbingly racist London mayoral campaign in 2016, losing to Sadiq Khan.

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