There’s a lot of social care parliamentary experience at stake when the UK goes the polls on Thursday. Which MPs who have been care ministers or their shadows are most at risk and which can sleep easily? Here’s your guide to the ones to look out for on Thursday night (what do you mean, you’re not staying up?).
Surprisingly, top of the list is the current Care Minister, David Mowat. He’s defending a slim 2,750 majority (4.6%) over Labour in Warrington South. With most polls still showing a Conservative lead, that should be very defendable. But the recent YouGov poll suggesting the Conservatives might actually lose seats may just have given him pause for thought. It’s the 21st most winnable seat for Labour.
A slightly larger 4,043 majority for the former Minister of State for Care and Support (2012-15) Norman Lamb in North Norfolk. That’s a 8.2% majority over the Conservatives, 40th on their list of target seats, but this is one of the seats where UKIP has stood down to give the Tories a clear run. And in a strongly pro-Brexit constituency with well over 8,000 UKIP votes from 2015 to redistribute that could mean trouble.
Current Labour shadow Minister for Mental Health and Social Care (2016 - 2017) Barbara Keeley faces a similar, if slightly less acute problem, in Worsley and Eccles South where she has a 5,946 majority – 14.1% - over the Conservatives. But as in North Norfolk, UKIP has stood down to put the pressure of its 7,688 votes in 2015 on her. Worsley and Eccles South is 68th on the Tory target list.
Not too far away in Bury South, former Labour Minister of State for Care Services (2006-08) Ivan Lewis is defending a 4,922 majority (10.5%). Here though his chances are boosted by the fact that UKIP is standing, as it is in Leicester West where Barbara Keeley’s predecessor as shadow care minister (2011-15) Liz Kendall has a 7,203 majority. That’s a healthy 20.9%, over her Conservative opponent and the seat has been Labour since the second world war.
They would all be sleeping easier if they had the majority of former Minister of State for Care and Support (2015-16) Alistair Burt: a whopping 25,644 in North East Bedfordshire – 43.7% over the Labour candidate. This is the 17th safest seat in the country.
Spare a thought for some former minister or shadows not standing, including Lib Dem minister Paul Burstow who lost his seat in 2015 and former Labour minister Phil Hope, who was beaten in 2010.
But certain to still be in Parliament on June 9th is the former Labour care minister (2005-2007) Norman Warner. He’s Lord Warner so no need to bother with pesky things like elections.