Tim Farron (Photo: Liberal Democrats)
After his party picked up four seats during Britain’s general election on June 8, Tim Farron announced that he would step down as leader of the Liberal Democrats.
Prime Minister Theresa May called for a snap election in the hopes of securing a strong mandate ahead of negotiations for the U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union.
However, all did not go as planned. Jeremy Corbyn’s left-wing Labour party picked up 30 seats, while May’s Conservatives lost a total of 13. The result was a hung parliament– one in which no party has a majority of the House of Commons’ 650 seats.
To form a government in the U.K., a part must hold a simple majority of seats in parliament of form a coalition with one or more other parties together comprising a majority.
The Liberal Democrats make up the country’s fourth largest party after the Conservatives, Labour, and the Scottish National Party (SNP). Unlike in the United States, third-, fourth-, and even fifth-placed parties can have a large impact on politics.
The snap election resulted in a government where a small party will certainly have a tremendous impact – but the Lib-Dems, which took 12 seats, are not that party.
Instead, it is the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland, which is much closer ideologically to May’s Conservatives than any of the other seat-holding parties, that will play the role of kingmaker.
So although the Lib Dems picked up four seats, they have been left with little to no political influence.
Farron, the party’s leader for the last two years, has been in the House of Commons for 12 years, representing the constituency of Westmorland and Lonsdale in the northwest of England.
Farron , a self-proclaimed Christian, has led a left-leaning party that often appears to have opposing views from his on homosexuality, abortion, and other social issues. Ever since he became the Lib Dem leader, Farron has been questioned about how he reconciles his party’s…