The general election of 1945 reduced the Liberal Party to twelve MPs and saw the defeat of party leader Sir Archibald Sinclair and leading lights such as Sir Percy Harris and William Beveridge. The remaining twelve were a disparate group of largely amiable, intelligent people but who had little in common as a clear political agenda. Most were ruled out for the leadership by newness or lack of interest or ambition. The chief candidates were Wilfrid Roberts, MP for North Cumberland and Clement Davies, MP for Montgomeryshire. On 2 August, Davies emerged as the MPs choice as Chairman of the Parliamentary Party, and was later recognised formally as leader of the Liberal Party.