Veteran MPs toppled in turbulent election night

Vince_Cable,_March_2008After all the fighting, promises and predictions, the election produced no changes in some constituencies but delivered big changes as prominent candidates lost their seats.

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The Liberal Democrats are as good as dead. Former business secretary Vince Cable lost his Twickenham seat which he has held since 1997. He lost to Conservative candidate Tania Mathias, who amassed 25,580 votes to Mr Cable’s 23,563. Mr Cable blamed a campaign of “fear” by the Tories.

Another Lib Dem embarrassment was Danny Alexander who was chief secretary to the Treasury. He lost his Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey seat by more than 10,000 votes to SNP’s Drew Hendry.

Mr Alexander said he would “always be proud of the difference I and my party have made to the country in the last five years.”

Former Lib Dems leader Charles Kennedy also lost his constituency of Ross, Skye and Lochaber by more than 5,000 votes to the SNP. Mr Kennedy had held the seat for 30 years. Following the defeat, Mr Kennedy said it had been “the greatest privilege of public life to represent the constituency.”

Labour’s biggest fall after Ed Balls was their Scottish leader Jim Murphy who lost in East Renfrewshire to the SNP by more than 4,000 votes. Mr Murphy had held the seat for almost 20 years and afterwards vowed that “the fightback starts tomorrow.”

Respect leader George Galloway was crushed by Labour’s Naseem Shah in the Bradford West constituency. Mr Galloway lost by over 19, 000 votes and had been MP since 2012 via a by-election. He called Bradford West “a special place full of special people.”

Conservative employment minister Esther McVey lost her Wirral West seat to Labour by 417 votes.

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