JO Swinson's career as a leader of her party may be over, but questions are now arising about whether her life as a politician may also have come to an end.

Senior LibDems who spoke to The Herald on Sunday have questioned whether the first female leader of their party will succeed in any other elections – north or south of the Border – again.

Swinson stepped down as leader of the Liberal Democrats on Friday, after losing her East Dunbartonshire seat to the SNP. She had held the seat almost continuously since 2005, and became the youngest ever MP when she won it at the age of 25.

One Scottish Liberal Democrat said: "It is very hard to know where Jo goes from here, because for a start her family life is all down in London.

"I don't think it would be easy to be an MP in Scotland when it is known that you don't live there most of the time, that your children go to school in London and you're really living there.

"She could go for the Holyrood elections, and would have a good chance but again the problem of location would probably be even worse then.

"At least Westminster is in London, she would have to relocate entirely and that isn't ideal with a young family."

In her resignation speech, Swinson said that "smashing the glass ceiling" meant "a lot of broken glass comes down on your head", and added that many politicians, "especially women" had been ground down by "abuse and intimidation" during the bitterly fought campaign.

She named several re-elected MPs including education spokeswoman Layla Moran and home affairs spokeswoman Christine Jardine, who she said had the "experience" to succeed her.

The former leader added: "I’m proud to be the first woman to lead the Liberal Democrats and I’m even more proud that I will not be the last."