Tory rising stars that lost their lustre in the election's harsh light

They were meant to be the bright young stars of a Cameron government, but only half of the Tory "A-list" candidates in target seats defeated incumbent Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs to make it to Westminster.

The list of preferred candidates was drawn up to increase the number of female and ethnic minority MPs and fast-track rising stars after David Cameron became party leader in 2005.

There was heartbreak for Shaun Bailey in Hammersmith, west London, where the young black youth worker – heavily endorsed by the Tory leadership who endorsed his campaign with vast sums of money and personal visits – lost to Labour's Andy Slaughter. Mr Bailey has strong ideas on how to tackle disillusioned youth and had been seen as the personification of Mr Cameron's "Big Society" idea.

There was a high-profile failure in Westminster North for Joanne Cash, a 39-year-old barrister, close friend of Mr Cameron and wife of one of his Eton contemporaries, had hoped to overturn a notional Labour majority of 3,021. She had been widely tipped for a future Cabinet role.

However, in February she clashed with the local party and briefly stood down before an intervention by the Conservative head office saw the local party chairwoman resign instead.

Both Mr Bailey and Ms Cash had featured prominently in glossy magazine coverage as the changing face of the Conservative Party.

The Liberal Democrats increased their majority in Sutton and Cheam: Philippa Stroud, the head of Iain Duncan Smith's Centre for Social Justice and a key contributor to the development of Tory social policy, lost after unfavourable newspaper headlines in the last week of her campaign. In several seats, A-list candidates failed to defeat the Liberal Democrats.

In Cheltenham, Mark Coote needed a notional swing of just 0.3 per cent but lost by nearly 5,000 votes. Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, the self-styled "Black Farmer", was unsuccessful in nearby Chippenham. In Eastleigh, Maria Hutchings, the mother of an autistic child who berated Tony Blair on a television discussion programme in 2005, was unable to win a seat that was 11th on the list of Tory targets.

But years of canvassing paid off for other "A-listers". The "chick-lit" author Louise Bagshawe fared better against an incumbent Labour MP, winning Corby on a 3.4 per cent swing.

Sam Gymiah, a black 33-year-old former CBI entrepreneur of the year, scored a substantial majority in Surrey East, and close Cameron ally Nicholas Bole, former director of the think tank Policy Exchange, won the safe seat of Grantham and Stamford. He is expected to figure prominently in Mr Cameron's circle of close aides.

Elizabeth Truss won South West Norfolk with a huge majority of more than 20,000. She had previously survived an attempt by local party members to have her de-selected following revelations that she had an affair with a Tory frontbencher.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture