— ITV News WestCountry (@itvwestcountry) January 16, 2020
Bath LD MP Wera Hobhouse indicates that she might run for Swinson’s old job
One of the key things about political betting is that when you see an opportunity you have to seize it fast. As we all know the Lib Dems were reduced by one seat to 11 at the general election and are without a leader following Swinson’s defeat at the hands of the SNP.
My understanding is that the party’s executive will be meeting at the weekend to decide on the process of the election to find her successor. At the moment Ed Davey, who competed against Jo Swinson last time, is the temporary leader.
The assumption is Davey will go again with Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran and Daisy Cooper of St Albans as other possible runners. The latter only entered the Commons last month. Yesterday the above Tweet on a possible Hobhouse bid was the first we had heard that any of the others were contemplating putting their hat into the ring.
On seeing the news my immediate reaction was to go onto Betfair to find out what her odds were and there was £6 available at 123/1 which I took.
At the general election Hobhouse , a former Tory councillor, retained Bath with a majority of of 12,300 and so looks pretty safe however things might be for the party at the next election whenever that comes. Given what happened on December 12th I guess that having a substantial majority in your own constituency is going to be a factor that the Lib Dems will be looking for in their next leader. A problem with Swinson, of course, was she was defending a relatively small majority.