Shadow Chancellor Ed balls became the most prominent of many senior Labour and Lib Dem politicians to lose their seats this morning in one of the most dramatic election nights in decades.

In Morley, Leeds, Balls became the biggest Labour casualty on an appalling night for the party, crashing to defeat to Conservative Andrea Jenkyns, by a margin of 422 votes.

In defeat Balls, who has been an MP since 2005, congratulated his opponent and expressed his disappointment and concern for the country, with the Tories on course for an unexpected parliamentary majority.

"Any personal disappointment I have is as nothing to the sense of sorrow I have for the results Labour achieved across the UK and the sense of concern I have of the future," he said.

He expressed concern for the future of the UK and the future of the UK in the EU, saying that in the future the country would need "a Labour Party determined to stand up for working people in the country and this constituency. I am confident Labour will be back".

Earlier, the Labour Party saw its presence in Scotland wiped out as the SNP swept to an astonishing victory, claiming 56 of 59 seats.

Shadow Foreign secretary Douglas Alexander, Scottish Labour Leader Jim Murphy and Margaret Curran, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, all lost their seats.

The Liberal Democrats saw their parliamentary presence decimated, and a series of cabinet ministers lose their seats, including Energy Secretary Ed Davey, Business Secretary Vince Cable and Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander.

Other party figures toppled were schools secretary David Laws, former party leader Charles Kennedy and former deputy leader Simon Hughes.

Speaking in the Sheffield Hallam constituency, where he narrowly retained his seat, party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "It is now painfully clear this has been a cruel and punishing night for the Liberal Democrats.

"The election has profound implications for the country and for the Liberal Democrats."

In a night of triumph for the Tories, who are on course for a parliamentary majority in defiance of a series of polls putting them neck-and-neck with Labour, there was one major defeat, with Employment Minister Esther McVey losing her Wirrall West seat in Liverpool to Labour's Margaret Greenwood, who took the seat by a margin of 417 votes.