27 August 2020 | UK NEWS
Sir Ed Davey has made his position as interim leader of the Liberal Democrats permanent after winning the leadership election today.
Davey, 54, defeated challenger MP Layla Moran by obtaining 42,756 votes to Ms Moran’s 24,564, or 63.5% to 36.5% respectively, almost 2 to 1 – a majority of over 18,000 votes. The official turnout in the leadership election was totalled at 57.6%.
The ballots for the next leader closed yesterday, with the results announced shortly after 11:30am today. The announcement can be watched here:
This latest leadership election was brought about following the demise of the former Liberal Democrat leader, Jo Swinson, at the last General Election, after which she was forced to step down after losing her own parliamentary seat. The Liberal Democrats won just 11 seats in that election. This prompted Sir Ed Davey to assume the position of acting Liberal Democrat leader until now.
Speaking to members following the conclusion of the leadership race, Davey said: “We have to wake up and smell the coffee.”
He went on to address the failings of the party on a national level: “Nationally, our party has lost touch with too many voters.
“Yes, we are powerful advocates locally. Our campaigners listen to local people, work hard for communities and deliver results. But at the national level, we have to face the facts of three disappointing General Election results.
“Nationally, voters have been sending us a message. But we have not been listening. It is time for us to start listening. As leader, I am telling you: I have got that message. I am listening now.”