In the aftermath of Jo Swinson defeat in her constituency at the December 2019 general election the Lib Dems decided to postpone the process for selecting her replacement until after the planned 2020 May local elections.
Well coronavirus put paid to that plan and then the party decided that the leadership election should take place a year on in the spring of 2021. That proved to be very controversial within the membership and a revised timetable was agreed with nominations closing on July 9 in just over a week’s time and the voting taking place between 30 July and 26 August.
The general election left the party with just 11 MPs even though its national vote share was up markedly. Of those who were elected the male-female split is 4-7 making it the first national party to have women in the majority in its parliamentary party.
So far just two MPs have put themselves forward for the election and this looks set to be a battle between Ed Davey who lost to Jo Swinson last time and the Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran.
A YouGov poll of members in January had Davey with a big lead but in recent months it has been Moran who for the most part has been favourite in the betting. Her bid is being run by someone who has posted frequently in the past on PB and has a strong reputation within the party for his campaigning expertise. At GE2015 Layla got 28.9% of the vote in Oxford W and Abingdon. Last December she retained the seat on a hugely increased majority with a 53.9% vote share.
My guess is that the leadership election will be very close and that the betting broadly reflects the chances of the candidates winning.