Sir Ed Davey elected new Liberal Democrat leader


Sir Ed Davey has been elected the new Liberal Democrat leader following a month-long ballot of party members.

The Lib Dems had been without a permanent leader since December’s general election, in which previous leader Jo Swinson lost her seat in the House of Commons.

The election was a huge disappointment for the Lib Dems, with the party winning just 11 seats – one seat down on their 2017 result.

This was despite high hopes – and impressive polling – for the anti-Brexit party ahead of the election campaign, at the start of which Ms Swinson declared herself to be a “candidate for prime minister”.

However, the Lib Dems struggled through the election campaign and an internal inquiry into the party’s performance – conducted after election night – likened their efforts to a “high-speed car crash”.

None of the former Labour or Conservative MPs who made high-profile defections to the Lib Dems ahead of the election kept their seats in the House of Commons.

The party’s new leader will now face a challenge in reviving the Lib Dems’ fortunes ahead of local elections; expected to be held next May following their postponement from this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Recent opinion polling has consistently put the Lib Dems below 10% – massively behind the Conservatives and Labour.

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