Catching far less attention after their drubbing in May, the leadership contest for the Liberal Democrat Party will not grab huge headlines, but may sometime down the road be just as important for the future of British politics as the Labour contest. The two contenders emphasise the historic coalition of the old Liberal Party and the SDP created in the 1980’s. Norman Lamb the MP for North West Norfolk is of the Liberal tradition, while Tim Farron the MP for Westmorland And Lonsdale in the Lake District area is of the more left-wing SDP tradition. Farron has been the favourite throughout and a poll from the Lib Dem Newswire confirms this.
Lib Dem Newswire Poll – Tim Farron 58% Norman Lamb 42%
This shows the momentum is with Farron. The effect of Farron winning may be that the road back is longer, making Conservative seats more difficult to win back than Labour seats even though in the short term the Lib Dems have stronger position in more Conservative seats., However the long term scope for the Lib Dems attacking more Labour seats could be more fruitful looking 10 years ahead, the aim would be to win back the protest UKIP votes back particularly in the North of England, and then attack more Labour seats two elections down the line. This may be particularly effective if Jeremy Corbyn wins the Labour leadership, Farron could position himself as the sensible center-left opposition to the Government in an era of Labour extremism.