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The LDs appear to have chosen their next two leaders without a single vote being cast

June 21st, 2017

The veteran former Business Secretary, Sir Vince Cable, has now moved to a 60%+ chance in the betting of becoming Farron’s successor following an extraordinary 36 hours when the party appears to have decided who should get the job AND who should succeed Vince.

As soon as Farron announced that he was going last week the LD blogger, Mark Pack, ran a survey of party members on the succession. In the past these have usually been fairly good pointers to the actual outcome.

On Monday the results were published and the woman who took back Dunbartonshire East at GE17, Jo Swinson, was found to have the support of a staggering 57% of the members who participated.

Inevitably she became a strong betting favourite with the only question being whether she wanted it or not. In fact she didn’t at this stage and has now become deputy leader – a position that is selected by the parliamentary party.

Her announcement left three potential runners, Cable, Norman Lamb the ex-health Minister, and Sir Ed Davey, the former cabinet minister who retook Kingston & Surbiton in the election.

Yesterday morning the 74 year old Cable became the first to formally put his hat into the ring with heavy hints that he’d stand aside in two or three years.

It didn’t take much working out for disappointed Swinson supporters to figure that a time limited Cable leadership would best suit their woman. Lamb and Davey are much younger than Vince and they would be looking to be in the job for the long term.

So there we have it and the reason there’s been such a move to Cable in the betting.

Mike Smithson