NEWS7 May 2010

Former researchers Zahawi and Danczuk win seats in UK parliament

Government UK

UK— The results of yesterday’s general election have mostly been declared and among the winners are two former bosses of market research agencies.

Former YouGov CEO Nadhim Zahawi (top), standing for the Conservatives, won the Stratford-on-Avon seat, while Vision 21 co-founder Simon Danczuk (bottom) clinched Rochdale for Labour.

Danczuk’s victory over sitting Liberal Democrat rival Paul Rowen was one of the surprise results of the night. Danczuk had only a slim notional majority of 149 thanks to changes to the constituency boundaries, but many thought his campaign would have been irreparably damaged after Prime Minister Gordon Brown, on a visit to Rochdale, was overheard describing a voter as a “bigoted woman”.

However, Danczuk went on to win 16,669 votes compared to Rowen’s 15,810, while Conservative candidate Mudasir Dean polled 8,305.

Zahawi’s task was somewhat easier in the safe Conservative seat of Stratford-on-Avon, where he won 51.5% of the vote, beating Liberal Democrat Martin Turner ( 29.1%) and Labour’s Robert Johnstone ( 9.5%)

The former YouGov boss secured 26,052 votes to fend off his rivals who received 14,706 votes and 4,809 votes respectively.

Zahawi stood down as YouGov CEO when the election was called. Now an MP, Zahawi will also resign as a board director of the company he helped co-found.