New Lib Dem leader “epitome of change politics in UK”

Professor Andrew Russell is Head of the University of Liverpool’s Department of Politics

Jo Swinson was elected as the new leader of the Liberal Democrats by a significant majority of party members. She defeated her opponent, Ed Davey, by gaining nearly 48,000 votes (a victory of just under 20,000) in a contest with a curiously low turnout (only 72% of the estimated membership actually voted, which suggests either some inaccuracy in the membership figures or an uncharacteristic reluctance of Liberal Democrat members to actually campaign and vote in an electoral contest.)

At the age of 39 and as the party’s first female leader she is being portrayed as the epitome of change politics in the UK. Swinson leads the national party most unequivocally hostile to the entire Brexit process and inherits a party rejuvenated in the last twelve months by strong showings in the Local and European Parliament elections.

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