The British Liberal Democrats party announced their new leader on Monday, July 22nd. Jo Swinson was elected as successor to Vince Cable’s two-year tenure and became the first female leader in party history by beating opponent Ed Davey by a long way.
Previous leader Cable had formally announced in May that he was stepping down from the role, leading to a leadership contest which only saw Swinson and Davey putting their names in the ring to take over the position.
The Lib Dem party has experienced a resurgence in polls recently in the wake of political turmoil over Brexit and the deep divide the issue has caused in the country. The party achieved impressive results in local and European elections in May.
According to British newspaper The Guardian, Swinson won 47,997 votes against 28,021 for her opponent Davey on a turnout of 72%. The numbers were announced at a party event in central London.
The BBC reported in a profile on the new Lib Dem leader that Swinson was born in February 1980 and raised in East Dunbartonshire, before she went to a state school in the town of Milngavie. She is described as being politically motivated from a young age.
Swinson made history by becoming the youngest member of the House of Commons at the age of 25 in 2005, and again several years later in mid 2018, when she brought her second child into the chamber during a debate on giving proxy votes to politicians on maternity or paternity leave and became the first MP to do so.
Swinson has held a series of positions; from a range of spokeswoman posts to ministerial roles covering employment relations and consumer affairs, as well as the role of women and equalities minister, and deputy leader under previous party head Cable. Her campaign was focused on the climate crisis and demanding another Brexit referendum.