Mr Baker, who has acted as Infrastructure Minister since June 2020, told the Examiner that he had no regrets.
’I’ve given it the best I possibly could, got stuck in, taken on the difficult issues and it’s been an incredible experience. I’m proud of what I’ve delivered,’ he said.
The declaration for the constituency, made at 12.25am on Friday, was the second shock of the night after Home Affairs Minister Graham Cregeen lost his seat in Arbory, Castletown and Malew. Just over an hour later another two ministers - Geoffrey Boot and Ray Harmer - were ejected in Glenfaba and Peel.
With 2,117 votes, Treasury Minister Alf Cannan easily retained his seat and achieved 36% of the vote.
His winning margin was more than 900 clear of Tim Johnston, political newcomer and former president of the Manx National Farmers’ Union, who was also elected to the House of Keys with 1,203 votes. Mr Baker finished in third place with 709 votes.
’I’m obviously very disappointed, but the public has spoken loud and clear,’ he said. ’I wish Tim Johnston every success, and of course to Alf Cannan as he plays a lead role in taking the island forward.’
Mr Cannan told the Examiner that there were many issues that needed to be addressed both locally and nationally for the next government, ’but ultimately you just feel humbled after a result like this,’ he said.
’Now I just want to get out and deliver for the people who have elected me’.
Mr Johnston said: ’I’m delighted, very proud and very humbled that the people of Ayre and Michael put their trust in me and I intend to repay that by working incredibly hard on their behalf, and for the island as a whole.
’There are lots of challenges ahead.’
He added that the relatively long count had been a nervous experience for a newcomer: ’Having such a large number of candidates is great for democracy but you’re not quite sure what’s going on, so it’s certainly been an exciting night.’
In fourth place behind Mr Cannan, Mr Johnston and Mr Baker was Liberal Vannin’s Paul Weatherall with 540. Fifth was Duncan Livingstone with 517 votes, followed by Sos Boussougu with 189 and Madeline Westhall with 168.
Of 5,127 registered voters in the Ayre and Michael constituency, 3,204 ballots were cast for a turnout of 62.5%, slightly below the 65% recorded in 2016.