Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown speaks to African leaders at the sidelines of African Union meeting in Uganda's capital Kampala
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown speaks to African leaders at the sidelines of African Union meeting in Uganda's capital Kampala, July 24, 2010 REUTERS

Following the announcement that Lord Pearson of Rannoch is to stand down as leader of UKIP, we take a look at the party leaders who announced their resignation following a disappointing election.

Gordon Brown: Labour Party

The most obvious resignation after the election was of course that of the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The biggest surprise however was not that he quit after losing the election but that he wasn't forced out before it.

After a short honeymoon period Brown's premiership soon ran into trouble with the election that never was in 2007, a banking crisis, a recession and rising British casualties in the war in Afghanistan, Brown became one of the most unpopular leaders in recent history.

Throughout much of his reign the papers were filled with stories and rumours of plots against his leadership, with current Labour leadership contender David Miliband, often being mentioned as his natural successor.

Following disastrous European election results last year, in which Labour came third behind the Conservatives and UKIP, Brown's own Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell resigned and called on Brown to do the same. A forced reshuffle and some behind the scenes work from Business Secretary Lord Mandelson is thought to have prevented a wider rebellion by cabinet members and held the Brown government together.

More plots were to come with Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt attempting a coup earlier this year, but to no avail.

Brown soon faced the electorate however and led Labour into its first general election defeat since 1992. Despite losing many in the party however were impressed that under Brown's leadership they were not the victims of the landslide many in the media were predicting just 12 months before.

Even after the election it was not the end, Brown could have remained as Prime Minister if he could broker a coalition deal with the Liberal Democrats and other smaller parties.

However it was not to be. The Lib Dems said they would not do a deal as long as Brown remained Prime Minister. Brown responded by saying he would stand down as leader of the Labour Party and as Prime Minister, opening the possibility of a Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition.

It proved in the end to be too little too late. Brown resigned and handed the keys of Downing Street back to the Queen, who then gave them to David Cameron.

Lord Malcolm Pearson of Rannoch: United Kingdom Independence Party

Lord Malcolm Pearson of Rannoch became leader of UKIP late last year after its outspoken former leader Nigel Farage resigned, saying that he could not lead the party in Britain and in the European Parliament simultaneously.

Lord Pearson was recommended by Farage to be his successor and was viewed as the candidate most able to raise funds and encourage defections to UKIP, which despite huge success at the European elections last year, had yet to get a single Westminster MP elected.

This was something the party was hoping to rectify this year, with Farage launching a high profile bid to unseat the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow.

Despite Lord Pearson being leader, Farage continued to be the public face of UKIP to a large extent, often speaking for the party at media interviews and on programmes such as BBC Question Time. Lord Pearson's own media competence came under scrutiny when a BBC interviewer appeared to trip him asking questions on some of the more obscure policies of his party, which he subsequently had difficulty answering.

During the campaign Lord Pearson also came under fire from some in his own party for his decision not to campaign in constituencies where the standing MP was a well-known opponent of the European Union.

The day after the election UKIP had still failed to win a single seat, with Farage failing to take their most winnable target and later admitting that he had misjudged the amount of support Bercow had in his own constituency.

Some small success can be claimed by Lord Pearson however. The party, he said, increased its vote by 50 per cent and achieved its aim of forcing a hung parliament by denying the Conservative Party as many as 21 seats, seats which would have given the party its majority.

Yesterday however Lord Pearson conceded that he was "not very good" at party politics and said he wanted to make way for a "better politician" to lead UKIP into the next election, which he said "may come sooner than we think".

Nick Griffin: British National Party

Nick Griffin has been seen as one of the more successful leaders of the BNP. The party, often branded as "racist" and "fascist" by its enemies, has a brand so toxic they make they make the Tories look popular.

Despite this Griffin has presided over the party during a time in which it has managed to gain unheard of representation on local councils and saw the election of the party's first London Assembly Member, Richard Barnbrook.

Griffin's high point however was last year when at the European elections he and fellow BNP candidate Andrew Brons, were elected as the first BNP MEPs. The election brought his party additional funds from the European Union and an unprecedented and controversial place on the BBC's flagship politics programme Question Time.

The general election proved too much for the BNP however. Griffin stood as a Westminster candidate in the constituency of Barking, in a traditional Labour borough in which the BNP had 13 local councillors, making it the official opposition to the council.

Griffin ended up coming third behind Labour and the Conservatives. However a far greater loss for the party was not its failure to elect an MP, which was always a long shot, but the loss of all 13 of its Barking councillors in simultaneous local elections.

Following the election Griffin said he would stand down as leader in 2013. However under the terms of the BNP's constitution a leadership election must be held every year. Griffin faced several challengers, one of whom was Barnbrook, but Griffin emerged to hold onto his position.

Barnbrook subsequently left the BNP to become an Independent member of the London Assembly.

Sir Reginald Empey: Ulster Unionist Party

The Ulster Unionist Party has seen its fortunes decline since 2001 and Sir Reginald Empey has led the party since 2005 when the party's Westminster presence was all but wiped out under David Trimble.

The UUP saw itself reduced to just one Westminster seat in Northern Ireland at the 2005 election, losing much ground to a resurgent Democratic Unionist Party. This defeat led to the resignation of Trimble, who was replaced by Empey.

The UUP's hopes were revived last year when the DUP's leader Peter Robinson, was rocked by a scandal involving the sexual and financial activities of his wife.

Ahead of the 2010 election Empey helped engineer an alliance between the UUP and the Conservative Party, similar to that between the SDLP and the Labour Party. The move was not a success, the UUP's only remaining MP, Sylvia Hermon left the party to run as an Independent and come the 2010 general election the UUP-Conservatives failed to return a single MP to Westminster.

The DUP retained its dominant position among Loyalists at Westminster, losing only one seat (Robinson's), while Mrs Hermon however was elected as an Independent.

Empey said that he would be standing down as leader in September.