Shadow skills minister Gordon Marsden loses seat

Labour’s shadow skills minister Gordon Marsden has lost the battle to keep his parliamentary seat.

Marsden lost out to the Conservative Party candidate Scott Lloyd Benton, 12,557 votes to 16,247.

FE Week previously reported it was looking likely Marsden would lose the election for the Blackpool South constituency after YouGov’s Multi-level Regression and Post-stratification (MRP) model, which successfully predicted the 2017 election result, observed the area was leaning towards the Conservatives.

The Tories lost out on this seat to Labour by 2,500 votes at the 2017 general election.

Marsden’s loss means it is unlikely he will be kept on as shadow FE and HE spokesperson.

His first stint as a shadow minister for FE was from 2010 until 2013, before he moved to cover the transport brief for two years.

Then, in 2015, he returned to shadow the FE portfolio and has served Labour in that role for four years.

Prior to entering parliament, he was an Open University lecturer and editor of a history magazine and after entering Parliament in 1997, he served in the Labour government as parliamentary private secretary to a number of different secretaries of state.

During his time as shadow further and higher education minister, he has been a highly-visible presence on the Labour frontbench during education questions and backbench debates.

He has also been a regular speaker at sector conferences, including for the Association of Colleges, the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, and FE Week’s Annual Apprenticeship Conference.

And when Labour launched its adult education policy for this election, it did so in Marsden’s constituency.