Deputy Leadership: runners, riders, rules

So far, the Deputy Leadership election looks to be shaping up as a contest between Tim Farron and Simon Hughes. Tim is the one public candidate so far and there’s plenty of chatter about other possible candidates. In particular, there is an impetus from some quarters for a female candidate to balance out the all-male Cabinet team. However, that is rather muted by both the Party President (Ros Scott) and Chair of the Parliamentary Party (Lorely Burt) posts being held by women and the combination of circumstances, such as being a minister or holding a marginal seat, which rules out many of the party’s female MPs.

Although the favourite amongst many comments on this blog, Jo Swinson has ruled herself out of standing.

The mechanics of the election are pretty straight-forward:

  • Any Liberal Democrat MP can stand
  • They need five nominations to stand and MPs can only nominate one candidate
  • The returning officer is William Wallace
  • The election is by AV and secret ballot
  • The electorate is all Liberal Democrat MPs
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This entry was posted in News.


  • Why would holding a marginal be a bar to the role?

    It didn’t stop Chris Huhne contesting the leadership!!!

  • paul barker 27th May '10 - 8:03pm

    Any chance we could re-open the poll when its settled who is standing ?

  • Why does holding a marginal seat rule out the candidacy? One would imagine, that a more prominent profile would help a MP to hold his or her seat.

    Anyway, as Jo Swinson has ruled herself out, how about Jenny Willott?

  • Jenny Willott is about to go on maternity leave so prob not likely this year.

  • Belinda B-G 28th May '10 - 1:05am

    Do you mean muted or mooted Mark? Is the idea being toned down, or discussed and put forward.

  • I was going to say – but the problem is, the rest of the world doesn’t know about Ros Scott and Lorely Burt and the positions they hold. But the constructive thing to do would be to think how we can publicise these roles better, if we can.

    I’m sad that Jo has ruled herself out. Re. the need to elect a woman as Deputy Leader – until about a week ago I was pretty much against tokenism. Seeing the drubbing we’re getting over the rape proposal, though (whether or not it actually ever sees the light of day – I strongly suspect it won’t) combined with our unfortunate election results in terms of women MPs makes me think that if we don’t choose a female deputy, we’ll be reinforcing a growing impression of the party that we can’t afford to have.

  • (I’m not saying it would be tokenistic btw – what I meant was, until about a week ago I did regard “but we must have a woman in X post” as somewhat tokenistic. I don’t any more.)

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