THE Liberal Democrats will today attempt to regain the political initiative as they begin their search for an exciting young loser to lead them into the next election.
The party was in disarray last night as Sir Ming Campbell resigned after taking more than two hours to find his glasses.
In his resignation letter he said: "I was positive I had left them on top of my Len Deighton novel, next to my chair. And before you ask – yes, I have checked the top of my head.
"Before I knew it, it was tea time and I felt it was now in the best interests of the party that I step aside and concentrate full time on finding my spectacles."
He added: "I think they may have fallen down the back of my desk drawer in which case we'll have to move the whole desk. What an absolute bother."
A contest now begins between the party's 'young turks' with Chris Clegg and Nick Huhne among the most anonymous.
Wayne Hayes, professor of Liberal Democrats at Glasgow Clyde University, said: "Chris Nick and Clegg Huhne represent the dynamic new wave in British politics that no-one has ever heard of.
"Instead of appearing on Have I Got News For You or qualifying for Olympic sprint finals they've been standing in front of their bedroom mirrors reciting Bobby Kennedy speeches and pretending to accept awards."
He added: "The great thing about Nick Clegg is that he's a press release in a suit. Meanwhile Chris Huhne's pledge to abolish cars makes him a huge electoral asset."
Nominations open this morning and candidates have until the end of the month to make sure someone has heard of them.
A winner will be declared in December, ousted next March and the party will have ceased to exist by April 2009.