Election 2015: Expert analysis with Dr. Kate Dommett

Dr. Kate Dommett is a lecturer in the Public Understanding of Politics at the University of Sheffield. She is an advocate of political engagement and will be providing expert analysis as results are declared at counts across our region.

View all 11 updates ›

Leadership Elections Ahoy!

Party leadership - it's a tricky job, and not one that most people would take on lightly. But after tonight's results it seems that more than one party will be looking for a new leader.

Party leadership - it's a tricky job

Jim Murphy has just lost his seat, Nigel Farage has said he'll stand down if UKIP don't get any seats, and its hard to see Nick Clegg or Ed Miliband going unchallenged if the results are as bad as predicted.

We could therefore see multiple leadership elections as parties attempt to inject fresh blood and set a new direction.

What does this mean for ordinary voters?

First, its likely that parties will open up their leadership elections; allowing - as Labour have done in the past - supporters to join the party for £1 and vote in leadership elections. So, we may have the chance to influence who gains influence over the future of political debate.

Second, we might see a change in political direction. A new leader is likely to try a new approach. Labour may move to the right in reaction to the failure of Ed Miliband's approach (that is commonly seen to be left wing), and the Liberal Democrats may elect a leader more in keeping with its social liberal (as opposed to current economically liberal) approach. The choices on offer may therefore change.

Third, new faces could be thrust onto the political scene. If Farage steps down there is no obvious replacement, and its not clear who amongst the LibDems is likely to step up. Even within Labour it may be that younger members of Parliament come into the running - meaning new faces and potentially new ideas.

What is interesting is that, if these polls are correct, Cameron is likely to be safe as Conservative Party leader. This means that the much discussed face off between Boris Johnson and Teresa May will be postponed for a good few years if Cameron is able to maintain the Party's position in Government.

More top news