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Saturday 4 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson lost her seat to the SNP in East Dunbartonshire
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Unseated: the high-profile losers in the UK election (including Jo Swinson and Nigel Dodds)
It’s been a tough night for the Liberal Democrats and the DUP in particular.

WE’RE GETTING TO the business end of the UK general election count, and some big names have failed to retain their seats in the House of Commons.

The biggest upset of the night so far has come in Scotland, where Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson has lost to the SNP’s Amy Callaghan Dunbartonshire East by 149 votes.

Speaking moments after her defeat, Swinson congratulated Callaghan and said she “wholeheartedly agreed” with comments she made about young women breaking boundaries.

But she expressed dismay at the overall general election result, including the large vote for the SNP in Scotland, and said she would make further comment on this later today. 

“Some will be celebrating the wave of nationalism that is sweeping on both sides of the border, and I do congratulate all those that are newly elected,” Swinson said.

“But let me say now, for millions of people in our country, these results will bring dread and dismay and people are looking for hope.

“I still believe we as a country can be warm and generous, inclusive and open, and that by working together with our nearest neighbours, we can achieve so much more.”

In North Belfast, Sinn Féin’s John Finucane was also responsible for a major upset. He defeated DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds by almost 2,000 votes.

That result is part of what’s turning out to be a bad night for the DUP: the party failed to take unionist Lady Sylvia Hermon’s seat in North Down, and lost Emma Little Pengelly’s seat in Belfast South to the SDLP’s Claire Hanna. 

Another high-profile loss MP Chuka Umunna, who left the party for the newly formed Independent Group before standing for the Liberal Democrats.

Although he increased the Lib Dems’ share of the vote in Westminster by almost 20%, he was around 4,000 votes short of the Conservative Party’s Vickie Aiken.

It was a better night for the Lib Dems in Richmond Park, where Zac Goldsmith, the former London mayoral leadership was unseated by Sarah Olney.

Meanwhile, independent MP Dominic Grieve – who defected from the Conservatives after disagreeing with Boris Johnson on Brexit – lost his seat in Beaconsfield to his former party.

A number of others who faced possible shocks, however, either managed to save their seats or look to have done enough to be re-elected.

Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith won in Chingford and Woodford Green, despite a Labour campaign targeting his seat.

And foreign Secretary Dominic Raab looks set to be re-elected in Esther and Walton, confounding some pre-election predictions that he could have been unseated.

Contains reporting from Press Association.

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