Down but not out as MPs survive

If the Labour government had been a private company on 5 May, it would have seriously questioned its HR strategy after struggling to recruit and retain voters.

A predicted nationwide vote of 37% for the old government means about 50 Labour MPs have seen their work-life balance seriously skewed away from work.

Looking on the bright side, Tony Blair will be pleased they are pushing the flexible working agenda by taking four years off.

Despite the loss in majority, all the ministers with responsibility for employment matters are still safe in their jobs.

Ruth Kelly, the education and skills secretary, came closest to sending out job applications after her majority was cut to just over 2,000 – a 4.5% swing away from her Labour-held seat of Bolton West.

Pensions minister Malcolm Wicks must have been worried about the state of his own pension after a 9.8% swing away from Labour in Croydon North. Fortunately, there was no black hole in his remaining support, and he polled a comfortable 53.7% of the votes.

There are rumours that he will be instituting a new PPF – parliamentary protection fund – which will top up his votes in the next election if he suffers a shortfall.

See also his exclusive interview, Electing to make pensions a priority, where he outlines his plan to raise awareness and educate young people on the importance of saving for retirement.

There was also success for the diversity lobby after Patricia Hewitt, trade and industry secretary and minister for women, and Jacqui Smith, deputy minister for equality and diversity, saw the smallest swings – 2.5% and 0.9% respectively.

But the scariest rumour emanating from Westminster on Friday was that that Hewitt will be replaced by Geoff Hoon at the DTI.

Be afraid, be very afraid.

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