Election 2015: Nick Clegg clings onto his seat but Lib Dems set to see major loses nationally
- Credit: PA
The number of Liberal Democrats in the Commons could be reduced to single figures as Nick Clegg faced a battle to retain his own place at Westminster.
Business Secretary Vince Cable became the highest-profile scalp as voters deserted the party after five years in coalition government with the Conservatives.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey also lost his seat and the Justice Minister Simon Hughes lost his Bermondsey and Old Southwark to Labour by 4,489.
Nick Clegg, who held onto his Sheffield Hallam seat, said he would be discussing his leadership with colleagues, after as a “cruel and punishing” night for the Liberal Democrats.
Vince Cable blamed a campaign of “fear” by the Tories for a “terrible night” for the Liberal Democrats as he became the latest in a string of high-profile party figures to lose their seats.
You may also want to watch:
The Business Secretary was defeated by Conservative Tania Mathias by 25,580 votes to 23,563 in the Twickenham seat he had held since 1997.
“We were hit by a very well organised national campaign based on people’s fear of a Labour government and the Scottish nationalists and we will see in the days that follow what are the implications,” he said.
- 1 Mum-of-four with 'beautiful soul' dies after collapsing in the street
- 2 Ipswich U18s fall to second-half Liverpool goals - how the FA Youth Cup semi-final unfolded....
- 3 'Beautiful inside and out': Tragedy as mum dies 48 hours after giving birth
- 4 Steam locomotive back in Suffolk for anniversary trips
- 5 ‘Demolition Man’ Cook tells vast majority of Ipswich Town squad to find new clubs
- 6 Former judge's widow on trial for sex abuse of young boy in 1980s
- 7 'I loved my time here... I should have stayed' - Former loanee Jeffers back with Town in coaching role
- 8 Takeaway owner fined £3.5k after series of food hygiene breaches
- 9 Stuart Watson's Verdict: Judge Chambers and Skuse's legacy by what their peers said
- 10 Film crews spotted in Ipswich town centre
“It has been a marvellous experience and an honour being the MP for this constituency. Unfortunately this has been a terrible night for our party all over.
“But I am absolutely sure that we are going to bounce back both nationally and locally.”
Simon Hughes had held his seat for 32 years before losing out to Labour last night
Described as a “legend” by Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, he was in parliament five years longer than his party has existed.
The former deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats has held on to various versions of his Bermondsey and Old Southwark seat since 1983, as a Liberal before the group merged with the Social Democratic Party to form the Lib Dems in 1988.
He twice stood for the Lib Dem leadership, but lost on both occasions - to Charles Kennedy in 1999 and to Sir Menzies Campbell in 2006.
The 63-year-old also stood as the Lib Dem candidate for London Mayor in 2004, when Ken Livingstone was re-elected for his second term.
He established himself through those battles and during a stint as party president as a leading figure on the left of his party.
But, while there were numerous reports he was unhappy with the coalition with the Tories, he maintained a public show of unity with those Lib Dems who entered the Government.
An exit poll indicated that the Lib Dems would return just 10 MPs to Parliament, but party sources indicated in the early hours that the figure could be optimistic.
The son of former Labour leader Neil Kinnock could not hide his joy after being elected an MP.
Stephen Kinnock romped home to victory in the Aberavon constituency in south Wales - beating nearest rivals the Tories by more than 10,000 votes.
The 45-year-old beamed with delight after hearing the news in Neath Sports Centre - and hugged wife Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who is the prime minister of Denmark.
Mr Kinnock said he was proud to be following in his father’s footsteps in becoming an MP - but wanted to be known for his own achievements.
He said: “I’ve said all the way through this campaign, don’t vote for me because I’m a Kinnock and don’t vote against me because I’m a Kinnock. Judge me on the basis of what I can bring and my values.
“It’s so important that we turn things around because the last five years have really seen the country going backwards, and we need to turn that around.
“I will be a strong voice and work hard to secure a better future for so many working families who have suffered so much.” Lord Kinnock believes his son, who won more than 48% of the vote, can play a key role in bringing new investment to South Wales.
Stephen Kinnock, who has worked for the British Council and the World Economic Forum, will make a name for himself as well as doing party and constituents proud.
His father said: “He is a skilled negotiator and is also multi-lingual. He understands business. Business has high respect for him, so he will play a leading role in attracting new investment in this area.
“It does need renewal through investment and he will play a very substantial part - he’s built for it. Both in terms of experience - and in terms of commitment and zeal and determination to be a strong voice for the constituency.”
Boris Johnson has succeeded in his bid for a Commons comeback after winning the seat for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in west London.
The London mayor secured the safe Conservative seat with a majority of more than 10,000 votes.
For the next year he will be combining his duties in the Commons with his high-profile role as Mayor of London, having previously vowed to continue with the job until his term ends next year.
Mr Johnson told the BBC: “It’s been a long and exciting evening. I’m excited by some of the results coming through here in London.
“Sad about others, but overall it’s been an amazing night for the Conservatives when you consider where we were and what the polls were saying only a few hours ago.
“It’s a remarkable turnaround.”
On Scotland, he added: “There has to be some kind of federal offer. Everybody needs to take a deep breath and think about how we want the UK to progress.
“I think even most people in the SNP, probably in their heart of hearts, most people who voted SNP tonight, do not want to throw away absolutely everything.”
The senior Tory politician is, of course, no stranger to Parliament as he was MP for Henley for seven years until he left in 2008 to take up the reins at the capital’s City Hall.
Eton-educated Johnson has seen his star rise during his time as mayor, throughout the UK and beyond, and cemented his position as a frontrunner to succeed David Cameron for the Conservative leadership.
But he has never been far from controversy, or been afraid to speak his mind regardless of the consequences - most recently causing a furore when he described the possibility of a Labour minority government backed by the SNP as “Ajockalypse Now”.