Election 2015: Ed Balls loses Morley and Outwood seat by 422 votes

Have your say

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has sensationally lost his seat in one of the greatest election shocks of all time.

It was a battle that, on paper, seemed like one of the great mismatches.

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

He was a political heavyweight, a Harvard educated former government advisor and one of the most senior members of his party.

She was a former music teacher, who sold her house to take on grassroots work to get a big shot at the champ.

Rumours had circulated from the get-go that Balls was set to lose his seat, increasing when it was announced in the early hours that a recount was taking place.

A David and Goliath Battle this was, but Balls was in bullish mood.

Speaking during the count, Mr Balls said of the exit polls: “An exit poll is not a result.”

Several councillors from the Morley Borough Independents arrived to observe the local counts, but stalwart councillor Bob Gettings spoke highly of Andrea.

“You can only take people as you see them,” he said. “Andrea has worked really hard for Morley - she is like a breath of fresh air for the area.”

As time wore on, the mood turned a blue hue - many Tory supporters were sharing jokes just before the declaration - clearly they knew their woman had won.

In the end there were only 422 votes in it, with Mrs Jenkyns walking away with 18,776 compared to Mr Balls’s 18,354.

Speaking after the declaration, Mrs Jenkyns said: “I don’t think it has sunk in yet!”

“This is something I have been dreaming of for more than two years, and I am over the moon that I have won.

“I have been doing so much work in the area, it kind-of felt like I was the MP already.

“I have a short, long and medium term plan for Morley, and I want to get started.”

She revealed she had a deeply personal experience which caused her to get into politics.

“My father died in unfortunate circumstances,” she said. “I decided that I wanted to campaign to help make our NHS a better place for people.”

Mr Balls was gracious in defeat, giving a speech commending Andrea for her campaigning skills.

He added: “Any personal disappointment I have is as nothing compared to the sense of sorrow that I have that Labour, and the concerns I have for the future.

“For the next five years, questions will arise about our membership in the EU, and

the future of the NHS.

“But Labour will be back.”

He then refused to answer questions, leaving the count immediately.

Mr Balls held the seat for Labour in 2010 when the boundaries were changed. Before then, the Morley and Rothwell seat was held by Colin Challen and John Gunnell for Labour.

It was expected by many that this election would see Balls increase his slim 1,101 majority from 2010.