Election round-up

- Sector leaders foresee challenge and opportunity

The hung parliament offers the voluntary sector both challenges and opportunities, according to sector organisations.

* Debra Allcock Tyler, chief executive, Directory of Social Change: "A hung parliament could give an airing to voices and ideas that have been excluded from political debate in the past."

* Ralph Michell, head of policy, Acevo: "All political parties and all MPs will have the potential to hold the balance of power."

* Kevin Curley, chief executive, Navca: "We need to sustain funding for community groups if we aren't to see the kind of breakdown in community cohesion that we have seen in Greece."

For reaction stories in full, see thirdsector.co.uk.

- Sector minister Angela Smith loses seat in Essex ...

Third sector minister Angela Smith became one of Labour's casualties of the election, losing her South Basildon and East Thurrock seat to the Conservatives on a 7.5 per cent swing. Smith was comfortably beaten by Conservative opponent Stephen Metcalfe. Smith, who became third sector minister in June 2009, said after the count that the portfolio was one of the best jobs in government and one she had wanted to do. "To end my ministerial time in this parliament as third sector minister was fantastic," she said.

... as Hurd says his future role is 'up in the air' ...

Nick Hurd strengthened his hold on the north-west London constituency of Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, increasing his majority over Labour to 19,060. But asked by Third Sector whether he would be the sector minister if the Conservatives were in government, he said: "Everything is up in the air at the moment, so I don't know. I'd like to stay in the post, but it's up to David Cameron."

... and Willott holds on with a reduced majority

Election night brought mixed fortunes for other third sector figures. Jenny Willott, the Liberal Democrat charities spokeswoman, had her majority reduced in Cardiff Central, as did Labour's former third sector minister Kevin Brennan in the neighbouring constituency of Cardiff West. But election night brought worse news for Phil Hope, Brennan's predecessor as third sector minister, who lost the seat of Corby to Conservative candidate and author Louise Bagshawe by 1,951 votes. Hope had held the midlands seat since 1997.

- ChildLine's Esther Rantzen loses her deposit

ChildLine founder Esther Rantzen experienced a humiliating defeat in the constituency of Luton South, losing her deposit. The former TV personality decided to stand for election in the wake of the MPs' expenses scandal. But Rantzen won only 1,872 votes - less than the 5 per cent of votes needed to reclaim her deposit.

- Defeated Bailey warns Tories on 'big society'

Shaun Bailey, the chief executive of youth charity My Generation and who failed to win Hammersmith for the Conservatives, has voiced reservations about the party's 'big society' proposals. Speaking at Hammersmith town hall in west London as he waited for the results to be announced, Bailey said: "Charities mustn't be made into government departments, because creativity and a lack of bureaucracy is what sets them apart."

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