The Nottingham City branch of the Liberal Democrats has refused to back party leader Nick Clegg and called for a leadership election.
In a vote held on Saturday morning, local activists voted by 75 percent to 25 in favour of holding a contest to find a new leader.
The vote comes after the party’s disastrous performance in the European Elections last month. The Liberal Democrats lost all but one of their 11 MEPs and finished fifth in terms of vote share behind the Green Party.
An increasing number of party activists now believe it was a mistake to enter into a coalition government with the Conservatives in 2010 as they have suffered a series of bruising election results since.
Other party branches have also met to discuss Mr Clegg’s leadership, but Nottingham is the first to vote in favour of a leadership election.
The city’s branch chairman Barbara Pearce told the Nottingham Post: “There are several local parties that have voted to support the current leadership and one that we know of that have called for a leadership election. This is our choice.”
Lib Dem MP John Pugh yesterday criticised Mr Clegg’s tactics for next year’s General Election. He told the Sunday Times: “There is too much wishful thinking, hoping that the nation will vote in gratitude because of our key role in turning the economy around.
“If the voters didn’t reward Churchill for winning the war, they are unlikely to reward Nick for saving the nation’s finances.”