If, as most commentators predict, Tim Farron becomes the new leader of the Liberal Democrat party today (Thursday) it will mark the start of very exciting times both for the Westmorland and Lonsdale MP and the constituency he represents.

The Milnthorpe-based politician, who has been MP for this area for the past ten years, is the overwhelming favourite to land the leadership role following the resignation of Nick Clegg in the wake of the party's dreadful showing at the General Election in May.

Mr Farron, the former president of the Liberal Democrats, was just one of eight of the party’s 57 MPs to retain his place in Westminster.

If he wins the party's backing today he will become the most-high profile political figure in this part of the world since former Deputy Prime Minister Willie Whitelaw, who was Conservative MP for Penrith and the Border for 28 years, and former Tory Westmorland MP Michael Jopling, who was Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in Margaret Thatcher's Government.

Whatever their political persuasion, most people would admit that Mr Farron is a tireless politician who works extremely hard on behalf of his constituency.

He is also incredibly well known in this area - walk down any street with Tim Farron and people will say 'hello' or ask him to take up an issue on their behalf.

As leader he is likely to adopt a similarly grass roots approach. That is harder to achieve on a national scale and it will be interesting to see how it works out.

His political opponents will be hoping that his leadership duties distract him enough so that they can successfully challenge him here in Westmorland in 2020. But Mr Farron will be aware of that danger and has already promised to be Westmorland's man in Westminster, not Westminster's in Westmorland.

Mr Farron deserves this opportunity - and having a Westmorland man in such a high-profile position will surely prove beneficial in raising important local issues such as the plight of hill farmers and the lack of affordable housing.