David Laws is one of dozens of Lib Dems to lose seat as Ed Balls also defeated

By Derren Hayes

| 08 May 2015

Three MPs who have had ministerial responsibility for children's and families' issues have been unseated at the general election.

Former schools minister David Laws lost his Yeovil seat to the Conservatives. Picture: Tom Campbell

Liberal Democrats David Laws, Jo Swinson and Simon Hughes all lost their seats in Thursday’s general election, as the party saw its number of MPs dwindle from 55 in 2010 to eight.

And in what also proved to be a tough night for the Labour Party, former Children’s Secretary and shadow chancellor Ed Balls was also ousted from his Yorkshire constituency of Morley & Outwood.

Laws, the Lib Dems’ most senior education spokesman and schools minister in the coalition, lost his Yeovil seat by more than 5,000 votes to Conservative Marcus Fysh, seeing his share of the vote nearly halve.

In addition, former justice minister Simon Hughes, an MP since 1983, lost his Bermondsey and Old Southwark constituency to Labour’s Neil Coyle, while former equalities minister Jo Swinson was one of many victims to the Scottish National Party's surge north of the border, losing her East Dunbartonshire seat by 2,000 votes to John Nicholson.

Former home office minister Lib Dem Norman Baker, who resigned his government post last November, also lost his Lewes seat to the Conservatives.

Labour’s Ed Balls was unseated following a surge in support for Conservative Andrea Jenkyns, who won the Morley and Outwood seat by 400 votes.

By contrast, all of the key Conservative MPs with children and families briefs in the coalition government were re-elected. 

Nicky Morgan - Education Secretary until the dissolution of parliament at the end of March - who was defending a slender majority from Labour, won her Loughborough constituency, increasing her share of the vote to 50 per cent from 41 per cent on 2010.

Former childcare minister Sam Gyimah was re-elected in East Surrey, as was former children’s minister Edward Timpson in Crewe and Nantwich. Cabinet Office minister Rob Wilson also extended his majority in Reading East, as did Home Secretary Theresa May in Maindenhead.

Labour’s former shadow education team, Tristram Hunt, Steve McCabe and Alison McGovern were all re-elected, as was shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper.

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