Leadership election

The timetable for the election of a new Leader for the Liberal Democrats has been announced. Here are the key dates:

Opening of nominations: 26th June (today)

Deadline for nominations: 20th July

Despatch of ballot papers to members: 16th August

Close of ballot: 11th September

Verification, count and declaration: 13th September

All members will have a vote and they will be able to vote online or by post.

I understand that hustings may start before the close of nominations, provided the candidates have obtained the necessary support from two MPs. You can see more detailed information here.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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This entry was posted in Leadership Election and News.


  • Thanks for that, Mary.
    Do you know if the online ballot will have a free text box or other space for writing RON or otherwise spoiling one’s ballot? This is an essential part of democracy IMHO, and while it’s easy with a paper ballot, online ballots tend to miss this functionality…

  • Max Wilkinson 26th Jun '17 - 3:54pm

    Given it’s highly likely that we’ll have at most two candidates, why is the nomination period so long?

  • Do we have a deadline yet for new members joining to be entitled to vote?

    If it’s the close of nominations, then that’s probably why the nomination period is fairly lengthy.

  • Zoe O'connell 26th Jun '17 - 4:25pm

    Would be interested to hear the rationale behind this timetable from Federal Board members. I’m not objecting, just seems odd if things are going to take this long to announce the leader on Wednesday before conference, rather than unveiling the result to members live at conference.

  • Elaine Woodard 26th Jun '17 - 4:30pm

    According to Mark Pack, it’s because the close of nominations is also the cut-off for new members to be eligible to vote. This gives more time for local parties to organise recruitment activities.

  • I do not think the turnout will be very much.

  • Mick Taylor 26th Jun '17 - 5:40pm

    Tweaked always the pessimist

  • Candidates do have to collect signatures from 200 members from 25 parties (or something similar). That can take quite a while.

  • theakes

    Thank you for cheering us as ever.

  • I hope this means that someone else has given a firm indication of their intention to stand ? If we go through this lengthy process & there is still only one Candidate then we will look pretty silly.

  • Certainly hope Ed Davey will stand (though envisaged he would’ve announced by now), obviously Vince has credentials but there needs to be a battle of ideas (even if some of them will be similar) and for the membership to be involved.

    Actually just joined party for first time (may not be a crucial matter but do members receive a lot via post or can much of it be electronic by preference) Anyway good you have option of voting online.

  • How thoroughly inspiring to see that the first comment relates to a boring procedural non-issue. How was our result in the Calderdale part of the world?

  • The peers’ precipitate intervention has denied all of us any meaningful choice this time around.

    We can only hope that Vince stands down in a couple of years to allow the party a real choice about its future direction.

  • R Uduwerage-Perera 28th Jun '17 - 7:54pm

    Dear Sisters, Brothers, Friends and Supporters,

    In order to rebuild the Party of ‘Equality, Fairness and Justice’ we need an election and not a coronation.

    The current and potential future membership need to hear what a future leader of the Party is genuinely thinking and the direction that the they would take the Party!

    As Chair of the Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats (EMLD) I am naturally interested in how a future leader will build upon the work that people such as Baroness Brinton has done and further remove the barriers to the recruitment, retention and progression of underrepresented groups?

    I am sadly only too aware that during the recent General Election amazing candidates that represented the wealth of diversity that exists in society stood in utterly hopeless seats, or were simply not provided with the support to achieve success. Other amazing candidates were blatantly thwarted by a cabal who wish to retain the status quo by making sure that only their ‘mates’ are constantly selected.

    We have a serious problem with regard to representation within our Party and things are not getting any better as far as I am aware.

    Along with many others I wish our principles of ‘equality, fairness and justice’ to become our raison d’être and not merely laudable rhetoric for only then will we become a Party of relevance. Merely espousing ‘tolerance’ as if this is some how a positive is not going to set an visionary agenda that will inspire future generation to join. I for one do not wish to be merely tolerated.

    Please fellow Liberal Democrats let us not settle for mediocrity, but let us set goals that will inspire.

    How about for starters 50/50 gender balance at the next Local and General Elections and genuine support for other underrepresented groups to reach success through positive action initiatives?

    Yours sincerely and fraternally,


    Ruwan Uduwerage-Perera

  • Lorenzo Cherin 28th Jun '17 - 8:32pm


    You always sat things that are significant . Your posts are from a position of forthright but understanding concern. You could be angrier and often no doubt are .

    Here you should be less diplomatic or suggestive , or we , those who really do care about these major elements of our party and democracy, are frustratingly in the dark !!!

    Is it not that the “hopeless ” sears are so, because we as a party are doing terribly , white, black, or brown whatever ethnicity we have, electorally ?

    As for “blatantly thwarted by a cabal ,” as I would if in Labour over antisemitism , I would be very ashamed, and want to know more and do more to stop this.

    Who, what, where ?!

    We really do care , many of us , ans should more .

  • Peter Watson 28th Jun '17 - 8:33pm

    @Ian “The peers’ precipitate intervention has denied all of us any meaningful choice this time around.”
    @R Uduwerage-Perera “we need an election and not a coronation”
    I don’t know about the party’s internal machinations, but the manner of Tim Farron’s departure does appear to have denied you a meaningful choice.
    Others have stated that the party’s rules require a leadership election some time after a general election. That requirement would have allowed for an open competition between Tim Farron and one or more challengers, hopefully without the rancour of Labour’s and the Conservatives’ unplanned leadership elections, and would have been an opportunity to compare different approaches and to give one of them a mandate.

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