Natalie Bennett has been chosen as the new leader of the Green party.

The change in leadership, announced at the party conference, follows the decision of MP Caroline Lucas to step down after four years in charge.

Australian-born Bennett, 46, a former editor of the Guardian Weekly, beat opposition from Pippa Barolotti, Peter Cranie and Romayne Phoenix. The vote was expected to have been close, with Cranie originally tipped as favourite for the position due to the backing of deputy leader Adrian Ramsey.

Ramsey will also be replaced, with either Will Duckworth, Richard Mallender, Alexandra Philips or Caroline Allen, taking his role.

Journalist, writer, green, feminist

Bennett, who ran as a Green candidate for the London Assembly this year in was candidate for the Holborn and St Pancras parliamentary seat in 2010, describes herself as a "journalist, writer, green, feminist".

On her leadership campaign website, she wrote: "We cannot leave it to the Labour party to be the sole dissenting voice to the coalition government - it is too weak a voice and too tainted by its record in government. We need to be the party that is the natural home of the radical, innovative thinkers and doers of England and Wales."

Throughout her campaign, her rhetoric centred around the theme of raising the ambitions and standards of the party and set out the goal of having an elected Green representative in every major city in England and Wales.

In her campaign leaflet she claimed she would set "realistic, but high" targets for the party by identifying new strategic goals. She also proposed increasing the parties' alliances and contacts by organising social and political events such as monthly dinners with friends and supporters and "leaders' breakfasts" with key thinkers.

She promises never to take the risk of bankrupting the party, nor take large-scale commercial loans.

She wrote: "The day of the election I shall be pinning a list of everything I've committed to do here to my fridge" and called on members to "hold me to it".

See Natalie Bennett's leadership campaign video below: