A rude awakening: What now for former MPs and failed contenders?

What becomes of the rejected hopefuls and ejected incumbents after the ballots are all in? Emily Dugan asked Judi Chadaway, of headhunters Scarlett2, what they might do next
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Indy Politics

Lembit Opik, Lib Dem, Montgomeryshire

CV Human resources manager; TV cheeky boy.

Interests Playing the field (or the harmonica).

Profile A populist with cheeky charm. His background in HR perhaps explains his ability to always back the right people.

Career option Entertainment or media. More appearances on shows like Have I Got News for You, or maybe a weatherman on Babestation.

Nick Griffin, British National Party, Barking

CV Leader of the BNP; MEP for North West England; unemployed.

Interests The writings of Adolf Hitler.

Profile Controversial speaker, doesn't need to be liked.

Career option It's not surprising that he's had stretches of unemployment before. I couldn't even see him as a prison warden. He could be a right-wing Louis Theroux – presenting documentaries on liberal subjects such as Gay Pride and the Notting Hill Carnival.

Charles Clarke, Labour, Norwich South

CV Former Home Secretary; local councillor; president of the National Union of Students.

Interests Insurrection.

Profile Larger-than-life figure who hides his private education well. Not frightened of telling it like it is.

Career option He is principled and gets bored easily; juggling political consultancies would work best. He could train as a life coach, identifying budding politicians.

Shahid Malik, Labour, Dewsbury

CV Former communities secretary; third sector work.

Interests The insurance industry; a burgeoning property portfolio; public order policing.

Profile Lancashire lad with Pakistani origins; fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Institute of Management.

Career option A behind-the-scenes deal maker, he could look for national roles advising or campaigning on diversity and equality. Perhaps some property dealing on the side.

Jacqui Smith, Labour, Redditch

CV First ever female home secretary; Blair Babe; economics teacher.

Interests Hiding the TV remote control.

Profile Helmet-haired formidable female.

Career option Would do well as a union organiser – the NUT is looking for a co-ordination and strategy officer. But with a salary of just £46,000 she could end up in muddy waters over expenses again. Adviser to a late-night cable channel?

Sean Bailey, Conservative, Hammersmith

CV Youth worker; face of the 'new' Tories (retired).

Interests Accounting and receipt management.

Profile Limber and photogenic. As the black child of a single mum, he is the antithesis of the white middle England membership expected of the Conservatives.

Career option Tories should go overboard to keep him as he is the antithesis of the "nasty party"/Eton club. Brilliant role model; Prince's Trust or equivalent organisation should snap him up. I could see him as a teacher on Waterloo Road or doing a Scott Brown-type centrefold for a Conservative magazine.

George Galloway, Respect, Poplar and Limehouse

CV Former Labour MP for Glasgow Kelvin; vice president of the Stop the War Coalition; general secretary of War on Want; reality television star.

Interests Himself.

Profile Telegenic personality who demands Respect. Fond of travel. But can't always be relied on to turn up.

Career option Radical talkshow host? With his fondness for the opposite sex and travel, maybe he could be a judge on Kurdistan's Got Talent.

Nigel Farage, UKIP, Buckingham

CV Leader of the UK Independence Party; MEP for South East England; broker.

Interests Light aircraft.

Profile Energetic but irreverent. Unemployable in a large corporate environment because he'd upset too many people. Bit of a crash and burn merchant.

Career option Would need to work for someone who wants to hit the market with a splash. Potential test pilot for a European fighter project.

Joanne Cash, Tory, Westminster North

CV Media barrister; future yummy mummy.

Interests ID fraud; drug dealing and prostitution (a reduction in, of course). Oh, and boxing.

Profile Feisty blonde, sporting a Sam Cam bump.

Career option Self-employed as a barrister and married to a millionaire, so needs a cause, not cash – motherhood won't cut it unless it's triplets. Keeping Boris Johnson out of trouble, perhaps?

Peter Robinson, DUP, East Belfast

CV First Minister of Northern Ireland; leader of Democratic Unionist Party; MP since 1979; estate agent.

Interests Property, land and finance.

Profile Smooth operator, devoted husband.

Career option After 31 years in politics, it would be a pity to waste all that experience. I would recommend that he gets his head down and writes his memoirs – he must have some interesting stories to tell. Or he could be a Business Angel helping young entrepreneurs.