My money’s on Layla Moran for Jo Swinson’s old job

My money’s on Layla Moran for Jo Swinson’s old job


Former odds-on favourite Davey now trailing on Betfair

Ever since the former Lib Dem leader, Jo Swinson, unexpectedly lost her seat to the SNP in the general election the former coalition cabinet minister Ed Davey has been the odds on favourite to succeed her.

The election itself will take place after the local elections in May and we should know who the new person will be in early July. All this follows the awful general election for the party seeing a big increase in their vote share at the general election but the number of MPs cut from 12 to 11.

Of the 11 MPs seven are women and four men, and there have been indications that four of them plus Davey might put their hats into the ring in the leadership election which takes place after the local council elections in A bMay.

A big development at the weekend was Layla Moran, who retained her Oxford West and Abingdon seat with a 9k majoirity, formally putting her hat into the ring. It was said 9 months ago that she didn’t not fight against last time because her main priority was holding her seat. Clearly for any Lib Dem security in his/her own seat is a major issue as we saw with Swinson.

A big issue is likely to be party’s partipation in the coalition from 2010 to 2015 and here cabinet minister Ed Davey might face a challenge. One of the big things that hurt Swinson at the general election was that she had been a coalition minister. Moran did not become an MP until the 2017 general election and since then has built up a reasonable profile.

One thing that could impact on the campaign is the coronavirus which might make it harder for MP newcomer, Daisy Cooper, to establish herself. I’d envisage fewer events and hustings taking place which should help the better known.

Mike Smithson

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