Oh Snap

Surprise Election Scalps to Look Out For

Will these heads roll?
June 8, 2017, 11:49pm

We weren't expecting many good scalps at this election. After a bloodbath in 2015 that included Ed Balls, the leader of Scottish Labour Jim Murphy, Vince Cable, Charlie Kennedy and George Galloway, this was supposed to be a few Labour no-marks being knocked out in favour of a few Tory no-marks.

Now? There's a feast of vulnerability. If the 3.5: swing to Labour in the exit polls is replicated nationally, these are the most Portillo-moment worthy ones to look out for:

Isabel Infantes/EMPICS Entertainment

CON – Amber Rudd: The Home Secretary's Hastings constituency has been targeted by Labour and the Greens, with the Greens standing down to give the Labour candidate a better shot at it. She has a 5 percent majority, but the Greens took 3.8 percent of the vote, so if the national maths is repeated, she's a goner.

CON – Gavin Barwell: Housing Minister, responsible for banning lettings agent fees, but also responsible for a big U-turn on "affordable" homes, dropped from the manifesto. His Croydon South seat is exactly the kind of constituency – urban, racially-mixed, young – that Corbyn's Labour have been most keen on attracting. With a wafer-thin 165 seat majority, even the national 3.5 percent swing to Labour blows him away.

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CON – Ben Gummer: In Ipswich, little Ben is the born-to-rule son of Thatcher-era cabinet minister John Selwyn Gummer. He's presently Minister for the Cabinet Office. A 3.8 percent swing will topple him – slightly above the projection. But then, East Anglia was one of the few zones Corbyn really held at the local elections earlier this year.

Victoria Jones/PA Wire/PA Images

LIB – Nick Clegg: Labour threw a lot into kicking Clegg's door in last time – whittling his majority to 2,000. But right now, on the national trend, it looks like he'll hang on handsomely. Though privately, Lib Dems have expressed concern.

CON – Johnny Mercer: King of All Jocks, Johnny Mercer is an ex-British Army Soldier who stood for the Tories to improve veterans care at the 2015 election. Asked if he took drugs, he said: "You don't put diesel in a Ferrari." Lads! Lads! Hope his concession speech is like a dirty best man's speech at a wedding.

CON – Anna Soubry: In Broxtowe, the Tories' arch-Remainer Anna Soubry has a 4 percent majority. Her constituency is a Leave one – 54:45. So she could easily be toast.

CON – Zac Goldsmith: "Vulnerable" may be a misnomer for a man already knocked out of Parliament, but on a 70-plus swing to the Tories, Zac could have been back in business. Now? He's just collateral damage in an evening of Tory tears.

LIB – Bonus: Vulnerable to Returning
Vince Cable: Uncle Vince is heading back to Parliament, having been knocked out two years ago. He might have been expecting to lead the Lib Dems had they had a bad night, but with a near-doubling of their seats, it looks like Tim Farron's position is safe.

@gavhaynes

Top Images: Isabel Infantes/EMPICS Entertainment, Victoria Jones/PA Wire/PA Images, Nick Ansell/PA Archive/PA Images