Amid a night dominated by a SNP swing in Scotland and an obliteration of Liberal Democrats, 24 Labour/Co-op MPs were elected in the UK’s general election.
Shadow chancellor Ed Balls was the highest-profile Labour/Co-op candidate who lost his Morley and Outwood seat. At last year’s Co-operative Party conference, Mr Balls said co-operative values would have underpinned policies in a future Labour government by creating a society that “works for all and not just the few”.
A post on Twitter from the Co-operative Party said: “The co-op movement has lost a champion: from co-op schools to wholesale overhaul of co-op legislation – a huge contribution.”
In total, the number of elected Co-op MPs dropped from a record number of 31 in the last parliament to 24. The election saw 42 candidates standing for seats – 14 of those were new candidates and eight were placed in Labour’s “must-win” seats. At the end of the last parliament, Co-op MPs Linda Riordan, Meg Munn and Andy Love retired.
The successful candidates were:
- Kate Osamor (Edmonton)
- Louise Ellman (Liverpool Riverside),
- Anna Turley (Redcar)
- Luciana Berger (Liverpool Wavertree)
- Gareth Thomas (Harrow West)
- Lucy Powell (Manchester Central)
- Steve Reed (Croydon North)
- Seema Malhotra (Feltham and Heston)
- Stephen Doughty (Cardiff South & Penarth)
- Jonathan Ashworth (Leicester South)
- Stephen Twigg (Liverpool West Derby)
- Mark Hendrick (Preston)
- Meg Hillier (Hackney South and Shoreditch)
- Geraint Davies (Swansea West)
- Chris Evans (Islwyn)
- Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield)
- Adrian Bailey (West Bromwich West)
- Chris Leslie (Nottingham East)
- John Woodcock (Barrow in Furness)
- Mike Gapes (Ilford South)
- Stella Creasy (Walthamstow)
- Gavin Shuker (Luton South)
- Jonathan Reynolds (Stalybridge & Hyde)
- Rachael Maskell (York Central)
Those who lost seats were:
- Kenny Selbie (Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)
- Louise Baldock (Stockton South)
- Jamie McMahon (North West Leicestershire)
- Melanie Ward (Glenrothes & Central Fife)
- Richard Baker (Aberdeen North)
- Ed Balls (Morley and Outwood)
- Cathy Jamieson (Kilmarnock & Loudon)
- Rowenna Davis (Southampton Itchen)
- David Drew (Stroud)
- Andy Sawford (Corby)
- Tom Greatrex (Rutherglen & Hamilton West)
- Mark Lazarowicz (Edinburgh North & Leith)
- Ian Davidson (Glasgow South West)
- Gemma Doyle (West Dunbartonshire)
- Sarah Owen (Hastings & Rye)
- Andrew Pakes (Milton Keynes)
- Luke Pollard (Plymouth Sutton & Devonport)
- Sharon Taylor (Stevenage)
Karin Christiansen, general secretary of the Co-operative Party said: “It’s been a long and disappointing night. In areas such as co-operative schools and community energy, the movement has lost some of its vocal and powerful champions. But we’re also incredibly proud of those co-operators – all women – who will be entering parliament for the first time, as well as our MPs who through their hard work have secured re-election.
“Our co-operative movement has never been more diverse and innovative, nor in need of political and legislative support. And in our new team of MPs, they will have a powerful voice, committed to working across all parties in Parliament to achieve the change the movement needs.
“We may not have achieved the outcome we all desperately hoped for. But as co-operators, we know that with commitment and hard work, together we will continue to achieve more than we ever could alone.”
Looking at candidates across all parties who specifically mentioned co-ops, mutuals or credit unions in their candidate profiles, Stephen Kinnock, who is a member of the Co-operative Party, held Aberavon for Labour.
Conservative John Penrose, who is also president of the Weston YMCA (which acts as an umbrella organisation for a range of local organisations including the local credit union), held Weston-Super-Mare.
And Anna Turley (Labour/Co-op), who campaigned for better local government through building the national Co-operative Councils Network, took Redcar from the Lib Dems.