Libertarian MP defeated in UK election

One of the casualties of the recent British general election was Dr Evan Harris, a Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon from 1997 to 2010. He lost by a handful of votes to a Conservative candidate. Dr Harris normally took a libertarian stand on bioethical issues and was a forceful and reliable supporter of human embryonic stem cell research, abortion, euthanasia, anonymous sperm donation, IVF for lesbians and single parents and so on. On the controversial issue of hybrid embryos, for instance, he declared "queasiness is not a good reason to prevent research going ahead that is strictly regulated."

According to Ed West, of the London Telegraph, “It’s unlikely that life issues played a part in his downfall – far more that, as Greece goes down in flames, voters thought twice about the most pro-Euro party in Britain.” Dr Harris is already thinking about contesting his old seat in the next election.

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