After a hard fought leadership campaign Tim Farron has been elected as leader. The new leader is expected to address a rally which is being held in North London. The speech is expected be made around 7.00 pm.

The Lib Dem press office reported at 4.30 “We are delighted to announce that Tim Farron has been elected as Leader of the Liberal Democrats. In an all-member ballot for the leadership, 56% of members voted with the result revealed this afternoon..Tim Farron received 56.5% of the votes and in second place Norman Lamb received the backing of 43.5%.. The new leader will be holding his first rally this evening at 7pm, where he will address hundreds of party activists for the first time as their leader. You can watch the action live from 7pm on [the Lib Dem] website, details will be available soon.”

The two key themes of the campaign were tuition fees and the religious belief of the party leader. On tuition fees Farron’s no vote won supporters who wanted to distance themselves from what had been seen by some voters as an important u-turn. On the issue of religious belief despite some comment on the issue on social media the new leader’s comments on voting on gay marriage appear to have been accepted by the members

The victory will be seen by some as a defeat for the old guard. Tim Farron was not a minister, was not close to the coalition leadership or the Orange Book caucus. Some may see this as a change of direction and a new beginning for the party after the result of the election in May.

With the leadership won an obstacle is removed to the release of the dissolution honours list. The appointment of lords is in the gift of the Prime Minister. The expected allocation is 2-4. It will be interesting to see whether the allocation of lords falls at the lower or higher end of this. A Farron leadership would be likely to have weaker links to the Conservatives.

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