Ed Balls loses seat to Tories by 422 votes

Former MP and Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls. Picture: Hemedia

Former MP and Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls. Picture: Hemedia

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ED BALLS became the highest-profile casualty of a disastrous general election performance for Labour, losing his seat to the Conservatives in a shock result.

A self-styled “strong, passionate, Yorkshire lass”, Andrea Jenkyns has caused arguably the biggest general election shock in recent contests.

The shadow chancellor was beaten by Ms Jenkyns by 18,776 votes to 18,354 in Morley and Outwood - a majority of 422 - after a recount.

He said the disappointment at his individual political demise was “as nothing compared to the sense of sorrow I have” at Labour’s showing across the rest of the UK.

But the 40-year-old soprano singer who toppled Labour big beast Ed Balls will be hoping for a smoother start to her parliamentary career compared to her early weeks as a Tory county councillor in Lincolnshire.

Weeks after she defeated the British National Party candidate in Boston North West in 2009, Ms Jenkyns was forced to resign.

It was discovered she was not eligible to be a candidate due to her role as a part-time music tutor for the council-run Lincolnshire Music Service.

She quit her tutoring job and commented at the time: “Frankly I do feel let down by the council as throughout this period I have acted with total openness and with good faith.

“I sought advice from the county council whether I was eligible to stand and I received clear and unequivocal advice that I could do so.”

A by-election was called and Ms Jenkyns squeaked home by 16 votes - ahead of the BNP.

Economic matters in Lincolnshire were among the issues she took an interest in during her time on the council.

After she was selected to challenge Mr Balls for the West Yorkshire seat of Morley and Outwood, Ms Jenkyns then lost her council seat at the 2013 elections to Ukip.

Ms Jenkyns said the catalyst for her decision to stand for Parliament was the death of her “beloved” father Clifford who was a lorry driver.

He died in 2011 after contracting hospital superbug MRSA and she has been involved in campaigning for better patient care.

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