ChildLine founder Esther Rantzen experienced a humiliating defeat in the constituency of Luton South last night, losing her deposit after securing fewer than 2,000 votes.
The former TV personality decided to stand for election in the wake of the MPs' expenses scandal. The constituency's former MP, Labour's Margaret Moran, was forced to stand down after it emerged that she had claimed £22,500 to treat dry rot at a property in Southampton, 100 miles away from her constituency.
But Rantzen won over only 1,872 voters - less than the 5 per cent of votes needed to keep her deposit and just 573 votes ahead of the British National Party.
Despite a 4.6 per cent swing to the Conservatives, Labour's Gavin Shuker held the Luton South seat with a majority of 2,329.