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 You are in: Special Report: 1999: 06/99: Lib Dem leadership  
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EDITIONS
Lib Dem leadership Friday, 6 August, 1999, 12:33 GMT 13:33 UK
Who next?
The race to become the next leader of the Liberal Democrats is coming to an end. The victor from the two-month battle will be announced on Monday. Here, BBC News Online looks at the runners and riders, the party the victor will inherit and the man who led it to its current pinnacle.

The job and candidates

Party leader wanted: Applicants must have a seat in the House of Commons, a commitment to liberal politics, a flair for creating publicity and own driving licence.

Applicants' CVs and visions:

Charles Kennedy

Jackie Ballard

Simon Hughes

David Rendel

Malcolm Bruce


The party

The Liberal Democrats have a tangled, torrid history. Paddy Ashdown's successor will inherit a party whose past reads in parts like the plot of a soap opera: betrayal, marriages of convenience, money trouble, acrimonious splits, defections, alliances, and the odd period of sweet harmony.

The road to Liberal Democracy
BBC News Online's provides a unique interactive guide to the process leading to the birth of the Lib Dems.

A job with potential?
Paddy Ashdown's heir will be inheriting a Liberal Democrat party in tip-top shape but stepping into his shoes will be no easy task.

The path to leadership
A quick guide to dates and procedure in the Liberal Democrat leadership election contest.


A farewell to Ashdown

Although Paddy Ashdown officially remains Liberal Democrat leader until his successor is revealed on 9 August, the European parliamentary election campaign has widely been regarded as his protracted swansong.

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