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