UK election: the big beasts who lost their seats

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson resigned after being defeated in Dunbartonshire East by the SNP

A combination of pictures created in London on December 13, 2019 shows high profile politicians that lost their seats in the general election including Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) deputy leader Nigel Dodds (L), Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson (2L), Liberal Democrats politican Chuka Umunna (2R) and the Conservative Party's Zac Goldsmith (R).   / AFP / Oli SCARFF
Powered by automated translation

The UK general election on Thursday cast out some of the biggest names in British politics, with some defeats even leading to resignations. Here are some of the some of the biggest names to lose their seats.

Jo Swinson

Liberal Democrat, Dunbartonshire East

Liberal Democrats candidate Jo Swinson speaks after losing her seat in East Dunbartonshire constituency, at a counting centre for Britain's general election in Bishopbriggs, Britain December 13, 2019.  REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Perhaps the biggest shock of the night was Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson losing her seat of Dunbartonshire East to the SNP by just 149 votes. Ms Swinson has previously said she could be the next prime minister, but was only elected as leader of the Lib Dems this summer. Rivals have criticised her past voting record being in favour of slashing benefits and have said her campaign – which was focused on revoking article 50 and cancelling Brexit – was divisive and not respectful of democracy. After losing her seat, she resigned as leader of the party and a new leader will be picked in the new year.

Chukka Ummuna

Liberal Democrat, Cities of London and Westminster

Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Chuka Umunna arrives at the BBC studios in London on December 1, 2019.  Britain will go to the polls on December 12, 2019 to vote in a pre-Christmas general election. / AFP / Ben STANSALL

Lib Dem and former Labour MP Chuka Umunna was another big name who lost his seat – when he was defeated by the Conservatives by around 4,000 votes in the Cities of London and Westminster. Mr Umunna had a brief stint with the recently-formed Change UK party, but defected to the Lib Dems after the party’s abysmal result in the European elections earlier this year.

Zac Goldsmith

Conservatives, Richmond Park

Zac Goldsmith, Tory MP and former mayor of London candidate, lost his seat in the pro-Remain area of Richmond Park. Liberal Democrat Sarah Olney beat Mr Goldsmith. Ms Olney had previously taken the seat from in the 2016 by-election before the former Conservative MP took it back from her in the 2017 election.

Dennis Skinner

Labour, Bolsover

Veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner lost his seat to the Conservatives in Bolsover, which he held since 1970. The 87-year-old earnt the nickname “the beast of Bolsover” for his long tenure in the seat and his feisty comments from the backbenches – but on Friday, he was beaten Conservative MP Mark Fletcher by 21,791 votes to 16,492. If Mr Skinner had been re-elected, he would have become “the Father of the House” – the longest serving member of the House of Commons.

Nigel Dodds

DUP, North Belfast

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - DECEMBER 13:  DUP Westminster leader Nigel Dodds reacts after losing his seat as Sinn Fein candidate John Finucane is declared the winner in the Belfast count centre on December 13, 2019 in Belfast, United Kingdom. The current Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the first UK winter election for nearly a century in an attempt to gain a working majority to break the parliamentary deadlock over Brexit. The election results from across the country are being counted and an overall result is expected in the early hours of Friday morning. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

The DUP deputy leader lost his North Belfast seat in a historic defeat to rival party Sinn Fein. Nigel Dodds obtained only 21,135 seats compared to Sinn Fein’s John Finucan’s 23,078. Mr Dodds had held the seat for 18 years.

It is a major blow for the DUP, as it means Northern Ireland has elected more Irish nationalists to British parliament than pro-British unionists for the first time since Ireland’s partition in 1921.

'I am very disappointed, not just for North Belfast, but for Northern Ireland that they're losing such a great advocate in Nigel Dodds,' DUP leader Arlene Foster said following the result.

Expelled Conservatives

Dominic Grieve and David Guake, who were among 21 Tory MPs expelled from the party by Boris Johnson in September, lost both of their seats on Friday morning. They both lost their seats to candidates from their old party.

Mr Guake, the former justice secretary who had injected humour into his election campaign, lost in South West Hertfordshire, losing to Gagan Mohindra by 14,408 votes.

Mr Grieve, who played a pivotal role in the Brexit debate, was ousted from Beaconsfield, which he has represented for the last 22 years. He got trounced by 15,712 votes by Joy Morrisey.

View from London

Your weekly update from the UK and Europe

View from London