+++Timetable to elect new leader set out

The Liberal Democrats have today agreed the timetable to elect the next leader of the Liberal Democrats.

At a meeting today of the party’s Federal Board in London, the party agreed to open nominations for candidates on the 11th of May and close them on the 28th of May.

The ballot will then open on the 18th of June and close on the 15th of July, after which the party will announce the next leader.

In the meantime, Ed Davey MP and Party President Mark Pack will continue as joint acting leaders of the Liberal Democrats.

Speaking after the meeting, Liberal Democrat Party President Mark Pack said:

“I want first to thank Jo Swinson for her determined leadership of the Liberal Democrats.

“The Liberal Democrats are the home for everyone who shares our vision of an outward-looking, caring country that celebrates diversity and benefits from high-quality public services.

“With our party membership at record levels, I urge everyone else who shares our values to join us in the coming days and vote in the leadership election.”

Candidates must be Members of Parliament and be proposed by at least 10% of other members of the Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons. They must also be supported by 200 members in aggregate in not less than 20 local parties.

Nominations for candidates will open on the 11th May, after the local elections. Nominations will close on the 28th of May.

The ballot will then open on the 18th of June and close on the 15th of July, after which the party will announce the next leader.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is currently taking a break from his role as one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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  • What’s missing from this piece is the reasoning and justification for what appears to be a slow process in selecting our new leader. I trust this can be clarified quickly – meanwhile people are no doubt speculating as to why. Thanks.

  • Andy Hinton 18th Jan '20 - 3:09pm

    Seems like a pretty sensible move to me. A contest right now would be obscured by the Labour contest, this way we stand a chance of more coverage during silly season.

    It may give Ed some time to embed himself, but likewise it gives other candidates a chance to set out their stalls, and the party time to have a wider debate about its future direction that isn’t too wrapped up in personality arguments about the leader.

  • Terrible idea.

    For starters, it gives Ed Davey either an advantage, or hurts his campaign, depending on how well we do.

    We’re also treading water until the summer.

    The only positive is it gives us more media coverage, but realistically, it wouldn’t be much more than we’d get if we started now.

    Really quite angry/upset with this move.

  • Graham Jeffs 18th Jan '20 - 5:01pm

    Given all the research that has taken place on voting motivations, can we have an independent assessment on the impact that the coalition is having on recent voting decisions?

    I ask this question because I recollect that for some people the mere fact that Jeremy Thorpe was invited to 10 Downing Street by Edward Heath after the February 74 GE was enough to deter them from voting Liberal in the October. Given that level of immaturity – which I fear still persists – is there really any point worrying about what could be an increasingly marginal impact from the coalition? We surely need some evidence one way or the other?

  • Ian Patterson 18th Jan '20 - 5:24pm

    As I said in a previous thread this morning. This is beyond potty. For a party of 11, having a protracted contest will not do them or us any favors. Ed Davey will be introduced on Tv and elsewhere as the ‘acting leader Lib Dems. If Labour can do theirs by April, we can do ours way shorter than that.President Pack needs to bang some heads together!!!

  • Alfred Emery 18th Jan '20 - 5:26pm

    This is an appalling decision. Six months without a substantive leader ? Lunacy !
    At the very least we should be informed. albeit informally, by our MPs about a) which of them intends to stand and b} which of them is intending NOT to stand (I don’t believe for a moment that any MP can still be undecided). Come on Ed, Layla, Daisy, etc.Tell us now!

  • Why can’t the 11 MPs just get together in a room and sort it, say, tomorrow?

  • This seems very sensible. Why hurry? I’m hoping at least one candidate was newly elected last month, let’s have plenty of time for those who hitherto have had less opportunity to shine, to do so, so we can all make a much more informed choice.

  • Mark Leftly 18th Jan '20 - 6:27pm

    Fine, but drop the pretence of the party president being co-leader. It’s embarrassing. Four leaders in less than three weeks as of 1 Jan.

  • Paul Barker 18th Jan '20 - 6:33pm

    What some of the comments seem to miss is that there has been a debate about when to have the contest, with strong arguments on both sides. I was arguing for an early Vote but I accept that there are good reasons to wait :
    1st the need to have a thorough debate about the last Year (& the last Decade) before we get into a personality contest;
    2nd the desire not to get buried under the coverage of Labours debates;
    & 3rd, not wanting to divert energy from The Local Elections.
    Its possible we could do well in The May Elections & get another temporary boost which would be a great backdrop to the Leadership contest. I have been warning that we might seem to do badly in May but its very hard to call now, so much has changed since Last May.

  • This seems sensible to me. As well as giving time for potential candidates to test the water and decide, it gives time for the nominating Mps to decide. Each candidate needs 2 MP nominations other than themselves. If indeed 5 Mps wish to stand then the nomination mathematics gets tricky!

  • Katharine Pindar 18th Jan '20 - 6:47pm

    I am one of those glad that there is a delay before the leadership election. Time to listen and to think. time to have a thorough review of the election campaign, with a chance to find out who backed the over-confident and badly-judged elements of it. Time to meet and talk at the Spring Conference, and time to concentrate on building up to the May elections, not only those of this year but also those of 2021. Time to consider the possibility of working together with the new leadership of the Labour Party for progressive opposition. Above all, perhaps, time to consider the first impacts of Brexit and the actions of this Tory government, and how collectively as a party we will react to them. Well done this time, our perhaps chastened Federal Board!

  • Yes. We should be seeing how the coalition is playing out today with us

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