The Labour Party will be without a shadow third sector minister for an unspecified length of time after Angela Smith's election defeat in South Basildon and East Thurrock.
A party spokesman said it was operating for the time being on the basis of former ministers retaining their positions in the shadow team. But Smith's defeat has created a void.
The spokesman said any gaps would be filled but he did not know when this would happen.
Smith, who was defeated by Conservative Stephen Metcalfe by 5,772 votes, was the 10th third sector minister during Labour's 13 years in office. She replaced Kevin Brennan, who had the shortest tenure of any third sector minister, in June 2009.
Labour's 10 voluntary sector ministers were: Alun Michael, Paul Boateng, Angela Eagle, Lord Filkin, Fiona MacTaggart, Paul Goggins, Ed Miliband, Phil Hope, Brennan and Smith.