Published on August 6th, 2015 |
by Kowser Ali
What has this summer been like for the Liberal Democrats?
As we all know the Liberal Democrats did not do so well at the 2015 May General Election. The Liberal Democrats lost 49 seats, they went from 57 seats in 2010 to 8 in 2015. In this catastrophic loss, the Lib-Dems lost several ministers such as : the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, Business Secretary Vince Cable and Energy Secretary Ed Davey. The 8 seats kept by the Lib-Dems are:
(Left to Right – Westmorland & Lonsdale – Tim Farron MP, Ceredigion – Mark Williams MP, Carshalton & Wallington – Tom Brake MP, Sheffield Hallam – Nick Clegg MP, Southport – John Pugh MP)
(Left to Right – Leeds North West – Greg Mulholland MP, Norfolk North – Norman Lamb MP and Orkney & Shetland – Alistair Carmicheal MP)
Following the Lib-Dem defeat and after 8 years of Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg chose to resign and there began the search for a new Party Leader. At the beginning of the Summer there were three potential candidates in line for the position as Liberal Democrat Party leader and these three were, Norman Lamb, MP for North Norfolk, who worked in the department of health from 2012 – 2015 under the coalition Government. Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland & Lonsdale, he has been a member of Parliament since 2005, and Scotland Secretary Alistair Carmichael, MP for Orkney and Shetland.
On June 3rd nominations for Party leader closed and that left Norman Lamb MP and Tim Farron as they both put themselves forward. Norman Lamb said “I want our party to be a consistent and clear voice standing up for the the sort of liberal society that we want to build – where opportunity is equal, where diversity is celebrated and encouraged, and where people have real control over the decisions that affect their lives.”
Tim Farron who campaigned that his leadership would mean a break away from that of Nick Clegg’s said “My campaign message is clear – we need to rebuild the party from the grassroots, campaign on the issues that matter – human rights, the environment, building a new economy and a fairer and more equal society.”
On the 24th of June Ballot papers were dispatched to members of the Liberal Democrat party and on the 16th of July the results were announced. It was announced that Tim Farron MP would be the next leader of the Liberal Democrat Party. Tim Farron beat Norman Lamb by 56.5% to 43.5%. This race for leadership has not been as intense as the Labour Leadership as the leader of the party was to be chosen out of 8 Members of Parliament. But what does this now mean for the future of the Liberal Democrat party? Will Tim Farron be able to whip his party into an electable shape for 2020?
This Summer has been an eventful summer for the Liberal Democrats, their loss was predicted as exit polls suggested the party could lose 47 seats in the House of Commons.. Despite them not having the best start this summer, it looks like the Liberal Democrats are heading in the right direction in terms of the party being unified. Now Leader, Tim Farron who won with a 51.5% majority, he is the first Lib-Dem leader to win with a margin more than 50%.