These are the gay and bisexual politicians most likely to lose at the general election
The UK will go to the polls on June 8 for another general election.
It’s little over two years since the last general election, less than a year since the divisive EU referendum, and weeks since local elections.
But don’t let that put you off some democracy.
The 2015-2017 parliament has been dubbed the ‘pink parliament’ as, according to experts, it’s the gayest in the world.
There were 35 out gay, lesbian and bisexual MPs in the last parliament, but only some of them will be returning to the corridors of power in a few weeks time.
These are the LGB politicians who could be ousted by the electorate in a matter of weeks – including some big names.
1. Wes Streeting, Labour, Ilford North
Streeting, 34, along with Peter Kyle, below, secured the biggest Tory to Labour swing at the last general election. He beat his Conservative opponent, Lee Scott, to have a wafer thin majority of just 589 votes. He has been an outspoken critic of Jeremy Corbyn during his time as an MP, and only time will tell if the left-winger is a vote winner or loser. Sir Ian McKellen has endorsed him at this election, which will come in useful as he is now the most marginal gay MP in the country. It will take an incredible result for him to win – but that’s exactly what he pulled off in 2015.
2. Peter Kyle, Labour, Hove
The 46-year-old secured the biggest Conservative to Labour swing at the last election, and now holds the seat with a majority of 1,236. Consequently, the Conservatives are heavily targeting Hove. On paper, polls would put this seat as an easy Tory win. However the area voted strongly to remain in the EU referendum, so Theresa May’s Brexit rhetoric could well turn more voters away from the Conservatives than towards them. PinkNews reported last week on how the Hove Conservative candidate believes she can cure deaf people through prayer.
3. Cat Smith, Labour, Lancaster and Fleetwood
The Labour MP, 31, who is bisexual, beat off the Conservatives to win a majority of 1,236. She is a close ally of leader Jeremy Corbyn, and was appointed as a shadow minister for young people and voter engagement. She also did a stint as shadow equalities minister, after just four months in parliament. Smith backed remain in the referendum, while Lancaster was split almost 50/50. If the current polls are to believed, then it seems unlikely she will be an MP on June 9.
4. Ben Howlett, Conservative, Bath
The Conservative MP, 30, pulled off a shock win when he took Bath from the Liberal Democrats, with a slim majority of 3,833. Bath voted strongly for remain, and while Mr Howlett has been an open advocate for the EU and, subsequently, a soft Brexit, this could be one of the seats where the Tories’ national rhetoric causes problems. He faced accusations of sexual assault after being elected as MP, but they were decisively dropped last month. It won’t take many pro-EU voters turning to the Lib Dems for him to lose the seat.
5. John Nicolson, SNP, East Dunbartonshire
The former BBC journalist, 55, looks set to have a tough battle on his hands against the Liberal Democrats. He won the seat from Jo Swinson with a majority of 2,167 two years ago. Swinson was a popular local MP, and is re-standing at this election. Nicolson put forward a motion to pardon historical gay sex offences during his time in the house, but the motion was rejected in favour of a similar Lib Dem proposal. The SNP could well repeat their success across the board – given how recent 2015’s election was – but if not, this is one of the most likely to fall.
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6. William Wragg, Conservative, Hazel Grove
The Conservatives put years of effort into trying to win this constituency, and it wasn’t until the collapse of the Lib Dems in the last parliament that they finally won it by 6,552 votes. Wragg, 29, is on the right of the Conservatives, has been a staunch supporter of Brexit and was one of the first to back Andrea Leadsom, who was opposed to same-sex marriage, for Tory leader. If the Lib Dem fight-back is real, this is one of the seats they will reclaim.
7. Ben Bradshaw, Labour, Exeter
Ben Bradshaw, 56, overcame one of the most homophobic election campaigns fought to gain his seat in the Labour landslide of 1997, going on to become the second openly gay member of the cabinet. He markedly increased his majority to 7,183 in 2015, and Labour had a strong showing at local elections in Exeter. But every seat surrounding Exeter is Conservative, so it will no doubt see a considerable influx of Tory money and activists in coming weeks.
8. Chris Bryant, Labour, Rhondda
One of the most well-known gay MPs, Bryant, 55, has spent 16 years in the Commons and has a majority of 7,455. Labour got a shock in the Welsh Assembly elections when Plaid Cymru leader, Leanne Wood, defeated Labour to take the assembly seat of Rhondda. She’s decided against standing for MP this time, but the party of Wales is putting a great deal of resource into defeating Mr Bryant, and if they repeat their showing 12 months ago, they’ll win. It would be a remarkable result if Bryant loses, but for the first time it seems plausible.
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