Cable, Huppert lose seats as Streeting wins

Liberal Democrats Vince Cable and Julian Huppert were among the higher education figures to lose their seats last night, while former National Union of Students president Wes Streeting is now a Labour MP.

May 8, 2015

The Lib Dems suffered a catastrophic night, with the party reduced from 57 MPs to just 8, as the Conservatives gained seats from them.

The decision by many Lib Dem MPs to break their NUS pledge to oppose tuition fee rises, and back £9,000 fees under coalition government with the Tories, is being seen as a factor in the party’s collapse.

Mr Cable, the former business secretary, lost his Twickenham seat to the Tories. Mr Huppert, the University of Cambridge academic and advocate for science, lost his Cambridge seat to Labour.

Nick Clegg, the Lib Dem leader, held onto his seat in Sheffield Hallam – where students and university staff make up a significant proportion of the electorate – against a challenge from Labour.

Tim Farron, who used to work at Lancaster University, retained his seat for the Lib Dems and may now be a rival for the party’s leadership against Norman Lamb, another experienced figure who retained his seat.

Mr Streeting, who served as NUS president between 2008 and 2010, pulled off a shock win in Ilford North on a dire night for Labour. He claimed 21,463 votes against 20,874 for the Conservatives’ Lee Scott.

In Scotland, another former NUS president, Jim Murphy, was toppled by the Scottish National Party in his East Renfrewshire seat.

And another former NUS president, Andrew Pakes, failed to take Milton Keynes South for Labour.

Mhairi Black, a 20-year-old politics student at the University of Glasgow, won Paisley and Renfrewshire South from Douglas Alexander, who had run Labour leader Ed Miliband’s election campaign. She became the youngest MP elected since 1667.

john.morgan@tesglobal.com

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