BREAKING: Ed Davey named Liberal Democrats leader

New leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey MP.
Source: Liberal Democrats, via. Flickr.
Ed Davey has been announced as the new leader of the Liberal Democrats, beating Oxford MP Layla Moran.

By Morgan Perry | Political Editor

Ed Davey has been announced as the new leader of the Liberal Democrats, beating Oxford MP Layla Moran. 

Davey received 42,756 votes, beating Moran by 18,192 votes. 

The leadership election was postponed by six weeks and was originally due to be held in July 2020. The Coronavirus pandemic, however, saw the contest moved to August. 

Initially, the party sought to delay the election until May 2021. Following backlash from members and a review by the party’s Federal Review Board, the vote was once again brought forward. 

The MP for Kingston and Surbiton successfully fought off Moran, as well as Bath MP Wera Hobhouse, who withdrew from the contest in June. 

Christine Jardine, the MP for Edinburgh West, also stood, but later withdrew in May, endorsing Davey.

A disappointing election

The Liberal Democrats were left without a leader when former leader Jo Swinson lost her East Dunbartonshire seat to the Scottish National Party in the 2019 General Election. She resigned as a result.

A former cabinet minister, Davey himself has been leading the party alongside chairman Mark Pack for most of the year. 

The party lost one of their 12 seats at the 2019 General Election. Despite the loss, they saw a 4.2% increase in vote share.  

Davey's opponent, Layla Moran.
Layla Moran (Source: David Woolfall, via. Wikimedia Commons).

Challenges to come

In the leadership election, Moran, MP for Oxford West and Abingdon since 2017, was seen as a shift from the Lib Dems’ coalition past.

Davey, meanwhile, served as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change under David Cameron, during the party’s coalition with the Conservatives. He is seen by some as the more right-wing of the pair.

The party’s next electoral challenge, and the 54-year-old’s first as official leader, comes in the form of the Scottish and Welsh parliamentary elections in May 2021. 

184 local councils in England are also up for election, having been postponed from May 2020 due to the pandemic. 

Follow @gairrhyddpol for all of the latest updates from the world of politics.

Politics Morgan Perry

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