General Election 2015: The two-month race for Lib Dem leadership has begun

 
Sarah Spickernell
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Former minister says Farron would be a "fantastic leader" (Source: Getty)

Following the Lib Dems' terrible defeat at the General Election earlier this week, a new leader must be chosen to replace Nick Clegg.

The party won almost 50 seats fewer than it did in 2010, amounting to its worst election performance in history. Those who lost their seats included Vince Cable, formerly secretary of state for Business, innovation and Skills (BIS), and Simon Hughes, former deputy of the party.
Clegg, who was deputy Prime Minister under the coalition, resigned as leader of the party on Friday.
A two-month contest is now underway to decide who will fill Clegg's shoes, with nominations due to open on 13 May. The new leader will be officially appointed on 16 July.

Two main candidates

Although neither has formally announced their intention to compete for leadership, Norman Lamb and Tim Farron are considered the most likely contenders.
Lamb has been MP for North Norfolk since 2001, and was minister of state for care and support from 2012 to 2015. During the coalition, he acted as Clegg's private secretary.
Farron is MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, and was President of the Lib Dems from 2011 to 2014.
Tom Brake, who was a Lib Dem minister during the last government, told the BBC he thought both would be “fantastic leaders”, and ruled out competing himself.
"What will happen during that contest will be that there will be an opportunity to talk about what went wrong and what sort of strategy do we put in place," he said.

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