In case you missed it – the 2019 general election’s key moments

Two Westminster party leaders lost their seats, and other big stories.

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The Liberal Democrats lose leader Jo Swinson

The Liberal Democrat leader, Jo Swinson, lost her seat of East Dunbartonshire to the SNP by 149 votes. She has resigned the leadership with immediate effect. Deputy Ed Davey and the president and Liberal Democrat peer Sal Brinton will jointly lead the party until a leadership election in the new year.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister and SNP leader, was caught celebrating when she heard the news. 


The DUP loses its Westminster leader Nigel Dodds

Nigel Dodds, the DUP’s Westminster leader since 2010 and the deputy leader of the party, lost his seat to Sinn Féin’s John Finucane by just under 2,000 votes. My colleague Patrick reported from the seat shortly before the election. The party also lost another seat in the city – South Belfast, where Claire Hanna of the SDLP beat the DUP’s Emma Little Pengelly by more than 15,000 votes. The party slipped to eight seats, with Sinn Féin now on seven and the SDLP on two, meaning that for the first time there are more nationalist Northern Irish MPs in Westminster than unionists – though Sinn Féin’s vote share fell further than the DUP’s.

Labour one-to-watch Laura Pidcock loses her seat

Shadow employment rights secretary Laura Pidcock, considered a rising star and potential leadership contender, lost her seat of North West Durham. This moment represented a double loss for Labour – of its so-called industrial heartlands and also of its shadow frontbench, which looks like it’s lost more than 14 members.

Labour icon Dennis Skinner loses his seat

The 87-year-old Labour veteran known as the “Beast of Bolsover”, who had held his seat since 1970, was defeated by the Conservative candidate. The loss of the old Derbyshire mining town represented a crumbling of Labour’s “red wall”. The removal of this Labour icon from the Commons benches, denying him the opportunity to become “the father of the House” (the longest-serving member), has prompted Tories I hear from to refer to this as Labour’s “Portillo moment” – though it wasn’t captured by photographers as Skinner didn’t attend the count.

Former New Labour cabinet minister Alan Johnson lays into Momentum chief Jon Lansman

Encapsulating Labour’s warring factions, the New Labour grandee laid into Momentum’s leader on ITV News. He called for his “little cult” to be sent “out of the party”, telling them to “go back to your student politics” and adding: “Everyone knew he [Corbyn] couldn’t lead the working class out of a paper bag.”


Tory Brexiteer Zac Goldsmith loses his Richmond Park seat to the Lib Dems – again

In one of the safer predictions ahead of election night, Tory Brexiteer Zac Goldsmith lost his affluent outer London seat of Richmond Park to the Lib Dems. This was a repeat of the by-election he lost to the same candidate when he resigned over Heathrow in 2016.

Alliance wins second elected MP in history in North Down

Stephen Farry, the deputy leader of Northern Ireland’s cross-community Alliance party, succeeded independent unionist Sylvia Hermon in the DUP target of North Down. My colleague Ailbhe has the full story here.

All defectors and exiles running as independents or for the Lib Dems lost

From Sarah Wollaston in Totnes to Dominic Grieve in Beaconsfield, and Luciana Berger in Finchley & Golders Green to Chuka Umunna in Cities of London & Westminster, all party switchers were defeated. Some split votes at the expense of their cause, for example the Tory-turned-Lib Dem Sam Gyimah in Kensington seems to have deprived Labour of the seat, with the Tory winning by just 150 votes.

Lib Dems lose their longest-serving London MP

Tom Brake, who has represented Carshalton and Wallington since 1997 and has a reputation as a good constituency MP, lost his seat to the Tories.

Anoosh Chakelian is the New Statesman’s Britain editor.

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