Current Affairs

Updated: Out gay Tory shadow ministers retain seats

Jessica Geen May 7, 2010
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The three out gay men in David Cameron’s shadow cabinet have held on to their seats.

Nick Herbert, Alan Duncan and Greg Barker were all returned to Westminster. Mr Duncan and Mr Barker saw a slight drop in their majorities to the Liberal Democrats.

Mr Duncan, for Rutland and Melton, took 51.1 per cent of the vote, with Liberal Democrat candidate Grahame Hudson coming second with 25.8 per cent.The seat saw a 3.7 per cent swing from Conservative to Liberal Democrat.

In Arundel and South Downs, Mr Herbert won 32,333 votes, or 57.8 per cent of the total. He saw off Liberal Democrat rival Derek Deedman, who was on 27.9 per cent.

Mr Herbert managed to increase his 16,691 majority, as the constituency saw a three per cent swing from Liberal Democrat to Conservative.

Bexhill and Battle MP Mr Barker held on to his seat with 51.6 per cent of the vote. Liberal Democrat candidate Mary Varrall came second on 28 per cent and managed to take four per cent of the Tory vote in 2005.

Margot James becomes the party’s only lesbian MP after winning Stourbridge with 42.7 per cent of the vote. Her closest rival, Lynda Waltho, was on 31.7 per cent, with a swing of 6.9 to the Conservatives.

Nick Boles held on to his Grantham and Stamford seat. He won 26,552 votes, while closet rival Liberal Democrat Harrish Bisnauthsing was on 11,726.

Other out gay candidates who won were Iain Stewart for Milton Keynes South and Stuart Andrew for Pudsey.

Mr Stewart ousted Labour MP Phyllis Starkey in Milton Keynes South, winning 23,034 votes (41.6 per cent). The seat was 27th on the Tories’ list of target seats.

Mr Andrew had a close win in Pudsey, scooping 38.5 per cent of the vote, compared to 35.1 per cent for Labour candidate Jamie Hanley.

In Mid Dorset and North Poole, Tory candidate Nick King lost by only a few hundred votes to Liberal Democrat incumbent Annette Brooke.

Mr King was on 20,831 votes (44.5 per cent), while Ms Brooke was on 21,100 (45.1 per cent).

Matthew Sephton, the chair of LGBTory, lost the Salford and Eccles seat, coming third. He gained 20.5 per cent of the vote, while Labour’s Hazel Blears kept her seat with 40.1 per cent. Liberal Democrat candidate Norman Owen came second on 26.3 per cent.

David Gold also lost in Eltham, coming in with 37.5 per cent of the vote compared to Labour’s Clive Efford.

At the beginning of the election campaign, Mr Herbert claimed the Tories were likely to have more out gay MPs than Labour if the party gained a clear majority.

The party has 20 out gay MPs, although only 11 were happy to be named in the media.

As of 2.15pm, the result for Hackney South and Shoreditch had not yet been called. Out gay Tory candidate Simon Nayyar is standing here but is unlikely to win against Labour incumbent Meg Hillier.

Mark Coote was unable to win Cheltenham for the Conservatives. The seat was number six on the Tories’ list of target seats.

Mr Coote won only 41.2 per cent of the vote, compared to Liberal Democrat candidate Martin Horwood who won 50.5 per cent.

There was a 4.3 per cent swing from Conservative to Liberal Democrat in the constituency.

More: General Election 2010

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