General election 2010: Schools minister fends off Tory attack

By Catherine Stevenson

Labour’s schools minister Vernon Coaker has successfully held on to Gedling in spite of high Conservative hopes to take the seat.

Mr Coaker suffered a reduced majority of 1,859, taking 41% of the vote. Whilst there was a swing of 2.9% to the Conservatives, this proved to be insufficient to dislodge the minister.

Mr Coaker’s agent Mark Glover said: “We’re absolutely delighted; this may be one of the best results for us in the country.

“I definitely think that the exit polls will not be reflected by the results.”

Gedling was 92nd on the Conservative party’s target list. The party will be disappointed not to have regained control of this constituency. Up until Tony Blair’s 1997 landslide the seat was deemed to be a solid Tory ground.

Failure to take Gedling will concern the Conservative party – if they fail to beat the swing they achieved here in other target seats they may struggle to achieve the results indicated by the exit polls.