Last night’s YouGov figures are now up on the website here. The latest voting intentions are CON 42%, LAB 35%, LDEM 15%, suggesting the 9 point and 3 point leads we’ve had over the last week were both just random variation, and we are still in a holding position of a Tory lead of around about 7 points.

More interesting is YouGov’s regular tracker on voting intention in the referendum on AV. Up until now it has shown a pretty consistent lead for AV of around about 10 points, in last night’s figures referendum voting intention had narrowed to AV 39%, FPTP 38%.

Very, very early days of course and there is no reason to think polling this far out has any predictive power, but the initial lead that AV seemed to likely to start the campaign with appears to be fading (looking at the party cross breaks, AV no longer has a clear lead amongst Labour supporters, who now split 42% AV, 40% FPTP).

59 Responses to “Opposition to AV growing”

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  1. Well, we have to see how things go of course,
    with the economic situation,
    the government’s performance in general,
    and how people react to the new Labour leader.

    But if
    i) AV is rejected in the referendum,
    ii) LD support remains low
    iii) the number of seats is reduced which tends to lead to more “averaging” of results across regions, hence even more all red or all blue

    then the LDs
    are looking at disaster.

  2. ” No-one hates the Libs ”


  3. For those who remember me from my odd post during the election, you’ll know I’m not tribal. I’ve never been a member of a party, because none come anywhere near close to matching my own position; so it’s always a matter of voting for the least of evils.

    I will be voting pro-AV not on grounds of fairness (STV is far fairer, but I don’t support it). It’s for purely visceral reasons. The reason may be clear if I list, for the 10 elections I’ve voted in (in 7 different constituencies), where my vote went, and who won the seat:

    Feb 74: voted Lib, Con won
    Oct 74: voted Lib, Lab won
    79: voted Lab, Con won
    83: voted Lab, Lab won
    87: voted green, Lab won *
    92: voted Lib, Con won *
    97: voted Lib, Con won *
    01: voted Lib, Con won
    05: voted Lib, Con won
    10: voted Lib, Con won *
    (in seats marked * my vote was NOT for my preferred party, but for the alternative with the best chance of winning).

    So, now you see it. In the ten major democratic choices of my lifetime I have had 10 wasted votes. 9 losers, and a winner in for a party which went down to its biggest defeat in modern times.

    I’m never likely to vote for a winner, hence I like AV: which at least allows me to vote AGAINST those I like least.

    (PS: Anthony: If this breaches moderation rules, I apologise in advance).

  4. I find myself torn.

    On the one hand, I disagree fundamentally with AV. I do not believe it to be a fair system. I think it is actually worse than FPTP.

    However, if a very large body of people come out *in favour* of FPTP, then it puts the whole idea of PR into the long grass for another generation.

    Under these circumstances, I feel utterly disenfranchised, and will refuse to vote in any election using FPTP permanently. It will make me even more disinclined to participate in a corrupt “democracy”.

  5. Why do you say votes are “wasted” under FPTP?

    i) If you lose narrowly, it indicates the seat can be won by another party relatively easily.

    ii) votes cast in losing constituencies go into the national share of the vote, and back up your party with more authority, whether in government or opposition.

  6. AV allows a protest vote without wasting a vote altogether, since your second preference vote will be counted if your protest vote doesn’t do well. Far from helping a middle ground party, it could actually radicalise British politics. Voting UKIP or BNP wouldn’t be letting in the “wrong” party by the back door. If enough people did it, there could actually be a flip as real preferences become revealed. At the very least, it would pose a conundrum for major parties: do they wish to pursue the second preference votes of minor parties, or allow their competitors to fish for them? Do they wish to encourage radical politics?

  7. Surely the issue is that there has always appeared to be an assumption amongst Labour members that the Lib Dems in a hung FPTP vote or a PR vote could be relied upon to support Labour rather than the Tories.

    Certainly that was what 1974 seemed to show and it seemed to be the underlying assumption in Gordon Brown’s offer of AV pre the 2010 election.

    2010 has shown that the coin has two sides and this seems to have come as a great and unpleasant surprise to many Labour supporters. I am therefore not at all surprised that Labour voters might be going off AV at a rate of knots.

    The flip side is of course that all sorts of Tories are now saying that maybe AV isnt such a bad thing after all….

    Personally I don’t think AV is any sort of ‘improvement’ on FPTP (but that is just a personal opinion) and will vote to stick with FPTP in any referendum.

    As to the Lib Dems more generally, I think that the public have, as a result of their moment in the sun in the election campaign and then as a participant in the coalition, woken up to the many contradictions and curiosities in Lib Dem views and policies. I think a good number of people have voted Lib Dem in the past as a way of saying ‘not one of the big two’. Previously such a vote was largely devoid of meaningful consequences. But it had a big consequence in 2010. So unless you are a committed Lib Dem enthusiast (and I am not convinced there are that many), voting lib Dem has become much riskier – you dont know what you will get as a result. Hardly a surprise then that they are down at 15%….

  8. If you actually look at the last election you find that somewhere between 100 and 180 seats would be decided without reference to second preferences of major parties at all, and that the second preferences of minor parties would in many cases substantially skew the split required to secure an AV win. There is far too much emphasis on how major party voters’ second preferences might split, and far too little on the consequences of second preferences of minor parties voters having a real impact on results, instead of being almost entirely ignorable under FPTP.

  9. What I don’t like about FPTP –

    In theory this could happen with this system… The Conservatives could win every single constituency in the country by a majority of 1 over the Liberal Democrats say. A majority is still a majority. That would mean that on the popular vote the Conservatives would only have 600 votes more than the Liberal Democrats nationally, and yet hold all the seats in the country.

    A bit far-fetched, but you get the gist. My point is, it is undemocratic. AV is not perfect, but its a damn sight better, and it keeps the local constituency link which I like as opposed to PR.

    So I’m voting AYE! ;)

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