Left-leaning Bermondsey MP Simon Hughes is emerging as the hot favourite in the contest for Deputy Leader of the Lib Dems, a potentially more significant post in current circumstances. The post became vacant after the resignation of Vince 'Mr Grumpy' Cable who is focusing on his role as Business Secretary.
Hughes has already asked an awkward question of 'The Governent' in the Commons and could become the focus of discontent among Liberal activists, particularly as Conservative backbenchers and the right-wing press are trying to water down an increase in capital gains tax.
Lib Dem starlet Jo Swinson disappointed her many fans when she tweeted: 'surprised & touched by lovely tweets & emails encouraging me to run for Lib Dem deputy leader - however I will not be standing'.
For many years the post was held by veteran MP and former political scientist Alan Beith. Beith played a pivotal role in coalition discussions in the Lib Dem parliamentary party when he drew on his frustrating experience with the Lib-Lab pact to suggest that a full coalition was the only viable option.