Election 2019: Accountancy’s candidates
This summary explains how accountants standing for election in 2019 fared at the polls. With a handful of gains, the profession's representatives could increase their influence as Boris Johnson gets stuck into the detail of getting Brexit done.
This page was initially posted on election day for the benefit of AccountingWEB members who want to track the fortunes of the profession's parliamentary candidates.
The Conservative sweep through northern constituencies boosted accounancy’s known representatives in the new parliament to 22, with the Tories claiming two gains and the Liberal Democrats and Scottish Nationalist Party one apiece.
Labour has no accountant-MPs left. Theresa Pearce stood down from the safe south east London seat of Erith and Thamesmead and Ruth George lost her seat in High Peak, Derbyshire, by 590 votes to fellow accountant Robert Lagan.
Though relatively rural, High Peak represents one of the classic “red wall” seats the Conservatives hoped to gain from Labour and Lagan’s victory was a clear indicator that prime minister Boris Johnson was on track to win a majority.
The other accountant-on-accountant showdown took place in Wigan, where Conservative accountant-candidate Ashley Williams was not able to repeat Lagan’s success. Standing for the Brexit Party, accountant William Molloy came third.
Further south, Milton Keynes has become the axis of power for the Accountancy Party, with the ICAEW’s head of strategy Ben Everitt in the northern half of the new town joining former accountant trainee Ian Stewart in the Conservatives’ new-look government.
Former Sky finance director and chief operating officer Andrew Griffith was elected to take over the safe Conservative seat of Arundel & South Downs. He famously lent his London mansion to Boris Johnson in the summer while the new Tory leader plotted his first moves as Prime Minister. Not long after, Johnson appointed Griffith as his Chief Business Adviser, partly to repair relations with the sector after the famouns #@&* business outburst.
Another Tory newbie is Saqib Bhatti, a Chartered Accountant and president of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, who beat Theresa May’s controversial adviser Nick Timothy to the nomination for Meriden, a safe, rural Tory seat to the west of Solihul.
There was evidence of tactical voting in London, however, particularly with the victory of Liberal Democrat Sarah Olney over Zac Goldsmith in Richmond Park. Olney, a qualified accountant who worked for the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, won the seat for the first time in a 2016 by-election, only to lose the seat back to Goldsmith in the 2017 general election by 45 votes. This time round, she beat him by 7,566.
Another accountant returning to Westminster will be Owen Thompson, the new SNP member for Midlothian. He first won the seat in 2015, but lost it to Labour in 2017. A swing of nearly 7% from Labour sent him back this time. “This sends a clear message. Scotland has said it wants to avoid Brexit. A very different message to the rest of the UK,” he said in his acceptance speech.
Olney aside, the contrast with results south of the border could not be starker, where the 18 Conservative representatives of the Accountancy Party will be falling behind Boris Johnson’s endlessly repeated promise to “get Brexit done”. The devil will be in the detail on those negotiations, so let’s hope some of the profession’s representatives can bring their business and analytical skills to bear on proceedings.
Election 2019: Accountants standing
Candidates are listed in party order first, then by alphabetical order constituency in which they stood.
|Nigel Mills||Amber Valley||Con||1||63.9%|
|Gary Mulvaney||Argyll & Bute||Con||2||35.2%|
|Andrew Griffith||Arundel & South Downs||Con||1||57.9%|
|Nick Gibb||Bognor Regis||Con||1||63.5%|
|Helen Whatley||Faversham & Mid Kent||Con||1||63.2%|
|Mark Harper||Forest of Dean||Con||1||59.6%|
|Kit Malthouse||Hampshire North West||Con||1||62.1%|
|Robert Largan||High Peak||Con||1||45.9%|
|Ben Everitt||Milton Keynes North||Con||1||49.5%|
|Iain Stewart||Milton Keynes South||Con||1||50.0%|
|Elizabeth Truss||Norfolk SW||Con||1||69.0%|
|Luke Graham||Ochil & South Perthshire||Con||2||38.7%|
|Alok Sharma||Reading West||Con||1||48.4%|
|Karen Bradley||Staffs Moorlands||Con||1||64.6%|
|Therese Coffey||Suffolk Coastal||Con||1||56.5%|
|Craig Mackinley||Thanet South||Con||1||56.1%|
|Paul Lorber||Brent North||LD||3||7.8%|
|Michael Cox||Christchurch & E Dorset||LD||2||17.9%|
|Paul Kennedy||Mole Valley||LD||2||34.4%|
|Sarah Olney||Richmond Park||LD||1||53.1%|
|Helen Morgan||Shropshire North||LD||3||10.0%|
|Ashley Cartman||Somerset North||LD||3||9.6%|
|Nick Coates||Somerset North East||LD||3||22.1%|
|Jenny Wilkinson||Sutton Coldfield||LD||3||12.2%|
|Ruth George||High Peak||Lab||2||44.8%|
|Marion Fellows||Motherwell & Wishaw||SNP||1||46.4|
|Duncan Royal||Blackpool North & Cleveleys||Green||4||1.9%|
|Jack Easton||St Albans||Green||4||1.7%|
|Tony Willicombe||Swansea East||Brexit||3||8.5%|
Have we missed anyone out? Probably due to the short preparation time for this election, the parties' candidate lists are not well organised for identifying qualified accountants among the runnings. If you are aware of any candidates with links to the profession, do let us know by commenting below. Good look tonight to all those accountants who have given up their time to campaign for Parliament.