Sir Ed Davey – the Member of Parliament for Kingston and Surbiton – has been elected as the leader of the Liberal Democrats.
Ed Davey faced off against Layla Moran for the leadership following the departure of Jo Swinson, who led the party to a disastrous result in the December 2019 general election, losing her own East Dumbartonshire seat.
The final result saw Davey gain 63.5% of the vote to Moran’s 36.5%.
Heading into the race as the favourite, Ed Davey garnered criticism for his role in the coalition government between 2010 and 2015, serving as the Secretary of State for Energy until he lost his seat at the 2015 general election.
Returned to Parliament in 2017, Davey has been one of the most prominent figures in the party for years, expected to track a typically centrist path for the party, with the electorate being increasingly divided by Boris Johnson’s leadership of the Conservative Party.
Layla Moran ran fortfor election hoping for a fresh start. The Oxford MP was not part of the coalition years – which led to significant criticism for the Lib Dems’ support of tuition fee hikes – whilst she also promised to tack to the left, creating an ‘anti-Tory alliance’ with Keir Starmer’s Labour party.
Having served as the interim leader since Jo Swinson’s departure, Ed Davey was considered the more experienced choice and promised a “national listening project” in an email to members following his victory, promising to make the Lib Dems “relevant again”.
Davey is considered a pragmatic choice by the party, who wanted to shift away from a disastrous series of election results since the coalition government, seeing them slip back to be only the fourth largest party in parliament – behind the Scottish National Party.
“We won’t be able to do this unless we show people we share their values and are on their side”, Davey said in an email to members.
Defeated candidate Layla Moran congratulated Mr Davey on Twitter, stating: “I look forward to working with him to campaign for a better future for Britain”.
Photo Credit: Liberal Democrats (CC BY-ND 2.0)