Jacqui Smith heads list of big-name casualties


Jacqui Smith, the first woman to be home secretary, was one of the best
-known sitting MPs to be voted out of Parliament but
Glenda Jackson held on with a tiny majority.

Ms Smith was crushed by a heavy swing to the Conservatives which saw her vote fall by more than 13 per cent as Karen Lumley took the seat with a majority of almost 6,000 over Labour.

Ms Smith had been caught up in the expenses scandal and her loss had been widely forecast.

She was first caught out by the expenses issue when it was revealed her husband, Richard Timney, put two pornographic movies on her parliamentary claims, and was later criticised for designating her sister's house in London as her main home instead of her family home in Redditch. She was found to have broken the rules on expenses, claiming more than £116,000 over six years from her living arrangement.

Ms Smith said, shortly before leaving the counting hall close to tears: "It is an immense honour to have served the people of the old Redditch constituency for the past 13 years and I'm obviously sad that that has come to an end tonight."

Charles Clarke, another former Labour home secretary, was toppled from his Norwich South seat as a surge for the Liberal Democrats ended his hopes of remaining in the Commons. He said he was disappointed and sad to lose but accepted "the decision of the people".

Mr Clarke, an MP since 1997, said he was "sad" but accepted the "decision of the people" after losing to former maths teacher Simon Wright by 310 votes.

Glenda Jackson, an Academy Award-winning actress before she entered Westminster, held on to her Hampstead and Kilburn seat by just 42 votes.

She polled 17,332 votes against second-placed Chris Philp of the Conservatives with 17,290, giving Ms Jackson possibly the smallest majority of the new Parliament.

Vera Baird, the solicitor general since 2007, was one of the most senior Labour members to lose her seat. She was beaten into second place in Redcar by Ian Swales, of the Liberal Democrats.

She had been caught up in the controversy surrrounding the mothballing of the Corus steel plant in her Redcar constituency following the decision of an international consortium to pull out. She responded by trying to save jobs but her efforts were regarded as too little by the voters.

Moreover, Redcar was targeted by the Liberal democrats with Nick Clegg saying it epitomised his ambition to challenge Labour in the North East.

He told voters in Redcar shortly before polling day that Labour had "taken you for granted for too long". He added: "Labour doesn't own Redcar. Labour doesn't own the North East, Labour doesn't have some birthright to represent you in Parliament."

At least ten ministers were voted out of the Commons. Among them was Shahid Malik, the communities minister, who lost his Dewsbury seat to Simon Reevell of the Conservatives with a 5.84 per cent swing.

In Corby, Phil Hope lost to the Conservative Louise Bagshawe. The Care Services minister and minister for the East Midlands was beaten into second place by almost 2,000 votes. Voters in Harlow unseated Bill Rammell, the armed forces minister - Robert Halfon, of the Conservatives, won with 19,691 votes over Mr Rammell's 14,766.

Among the biggest surprises was the defeat of the flamboyant Lembit Opik of the Liberal Democrats in Montgomeryshire. A 13.16 per cent swing handed the seat to Glyn Davies of the Conservatives.

Mr Opik, who was once engaged to Cheeky Girl popstar Gabriela Irimia and had a long-term relationship with weather presenter Sian Lloyd, was hugely disappointed by the unexpected result.

"I didn't expect the result and neither did my team," he said. "It's a sad time for me. On the other side if you stand for politics you have to be willing to contemplate the possibility of defeat."

However, despite the fright of seeing his majority reduced to little more than 1,000, Ed Balls, the secretary of state for education, avoided a "Portillo moment" in the Morley and Outwood constituency. He faced a strong challenge by Antony Calvert, of the Conservatives, but held on, albeit with a much reduced majority.

Esther Rantzen failed to win the Luton South seat from Labour. She came fourth with 1,872 votes and Labour's Gavin Shuker won the seat, which will make him one of the youngest MPs in the new parliament. Ms Rantzen said: "He's a very nice young man."

Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
peoplePamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
Sport
sportLeague Managers' Association had described Malky Mackay texts as 'friendly banter'
Arts and Entertainment
tvSpielberg involved in bringing his 2002 film to the small screen
News
peopleCareer spanned 70 years, including work with Holocaust survivors
News
people
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Generalist HR Administrator, Tunbridge Wells, Kent - £28,000.

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Administrator - Tunbri...

Head of IT (Not-for-Profit sector) - East Sussex

£45000 - £50000 per annum + 5 weeks holiday & benefits: Ashdown Group: Head of...

Supply Teaching jobs in Thetford

£21588 - £31566 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education ar...

KS1 teachers needed in Peterborough

£110 - £125 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education are ur...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape