LibDem Leadership Runners & Riders

The other leadership race quietly simmering away at the moment is that of the party that has in the latest polls now leapfrogged ahead of both Labour and the Tories. The self-styled “Bollocks-to-Brexit” party are enjoying a bump in support after their better than expected European election results. In order to be nominated, candidates have to be an MP, need the backing of 200 Lib Dem members across 20 local parties, and need the support of 10% of the parliamentary party (in other words, errr, one other MP). Nominations close this Friday, so there isn’t much time for new candidates to jump in the race. Guido brings you the runners and riders…

  • Sir Ed Davey – one of the two declared candidates, Former Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed has been focusing on his ‘Decarbonise Capitalism’ slogan, and getting the Lib Dems #BackInTheGame. He already has won the support of MP for-six-months Sarah Lolney, but not many others.
  • Jo Swinson – the other declared candidate and runaway favourite. Swinson has been the heir apparent since winning back her seat in 2017 but declined to run while the Lib Dems were still polling down in the doldrums. Her blue and yellow coloured JoinJo campaign recalls the colours of the EU flag… or perhaps the Coalition government, in which she served as a Business Minister. She will be wanting the Lib Dem selectorate to think of the former, not the latter….
  • Jamie Stone – a favourite with young Lib Dem activists last time round, giving birth to the hashtag #LetsGetStoned. More recently the highlands MP has been inviting the Prime Minister up to stay in his constituency, so he might be a bit busy. He has pledged to nominate Ed Davey but refused to endorse him, potentially leaving open a window of opportunity…
  • Wera Hobhouse – the new MP for Bath has become a regular fixture on TV. Born in Germany, having studied in Paris, then moving to the UK, she embodies the cosmopolitan European lifestyle the Lib Dems present themselves as being all about now, with none of that pesky coalition baggage. Despite planning to nominate Davey, she has endorsed Swinson so there is still time for another dramatic twist…

There could be an outside chance for two other MPs:

  • Vince Cable – could he change his mind after leading the LibDems to pole position in the polls. You would hear the screams from LibDem HQ if that happened.
  • Chuka Umunna – there are still three days for wild card Chuka to jump ship and finally achieve his dream of becoming the United Kingdom’s centrist party leader. Unlike the two declared candidates, Chuka doesn’t have the drag of being a former member of Cameron’s coalition government. Whether the Lib Dems would accept him into the party by Friday is another question…

Guido waits with bated breath to see the winner announced on July 23rd


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