Following the big shift towards the NO in yesterday’s ICM poll, the weekly YouGov AV question for the Sun shows an identical picture – adjusted for likelihood to vote and excluding don’t knows, the NO campaign leads by 58% to 42%.

This pretty much confirms that there has indeed been a sharp shift towards NO over the last few days. There are just over two weeks left till the referendum day, but part of that is the Easter weekend, followed by several days when the news agenda will be swamped by the Royal Wedding. There is increasingly little time for the trend towards NO to reverse.


123 Responses to “Now YouGov show a 16 point NO lead”

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  1. *Calum W.

  2. @ Alec

    Unusually, I disagree with you (although your side comment on the “purists” has a lot of merit…).

    Yes, “yes” may win (for whatever reason), but considering that it’s supposedly a major change in the voting system, you would expect massive movement, opinon-expression, whatever, instead of apathy…

    I, you, anyone can construct an argument for the “yes”. The point remains: there was no real campaign to speak of (again considering the weight of the issue – or the lack of campaign actually expresses the lightness of the issue). So for the voters it became a non-issue: and this is good for the status quo. Especially as there was no argument for AV in any of the ads… Just watch them… It’s quite puzzling really.

  3. @Woody
    A dangerous assumption. I think the only think we can say of abstainers, is that they have not been persuaded to vote for any of the parties standing in their constituency. Not that they agree with the status quo. They may believe that there vite doesn’t really count in a FPTP election.

  4. “Does anyone agree with me about the following possibility?”

    I doubt it, other than the MPs elected in such a way.

  5. BNP PEB

    Seems to be a common one for all elections, but I saw the one broadcast in Scotland.

    As far as I can gather, voting BNP will mean that any elected member will be out there personally gritting all UK roads with their own rock salt!

    Great election winner! “:-)

  6. If you made it explicit on the voting card that a decision not to vote would mean that your “vote” would be given to the winner in FPTP then it would legitimise the winner. Perhaps a spoiled ballot paper would allow it not be so used or the option of “none of the above” on the ballot paper and a re-run election if the winner plus abstentions didn’t reach 50% would also help.

    In essence I don’t see why non-voters should complain how thier non-vote is counted.

  7. Billy Bob
    The Leader is always right

  8. Does anyone know if we are due anymore Scottish Polls this week?

  9. @Barney Crockett – Aye, and he was showing angry face during the opening sequence. :)

  10. Mystic
    There will be one on thurs approx I believe
    Craig
    Sorry Comment too compressed. Who touched whose nerve?

  11. I wonder whether a factor in this is that almost all the Yes Campaigners are such a weird bunch of sanctimonious non entities.
    It’s a legitimate point to raise because it could be having an effect.

    Eddie Izzard (ridiculous and incoherent)
    Untypical looking students
    I could go on.

    But turnout and differential turnout will be key in this. Those of us opposed need to persuade people who are against to turn out, not just throw it in the bin like an invitation to your Bank AGM.

  12. Unsurprised this poll nearly everyonei have spoken to is voting no. stragley the biggest argument i have heard is if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

    I will be handing my postal vote in tomorrow for no if it had been a proper pr system i think i would of stuggled with which way to vote

  13. @ Barney Crockett
    I think Calum W touched a nerve of Colin’s.

  14. “f you made it explicit on the voting card that a decision not to vote would mean that your “vote” would be given to the winner in FPTP then it would legitimise the winner.”

    You can put what you like on a ballot paper but it will never turn a non-vote into a vote. Who knows why someone chooses not to vote? Maybe they hate all the candidates.

  15. Craig
    Thanks

  16. As somone who supports a change in the electoral system to a much fairer system and opposing to any kind of PR I can see why the constituency based parlamentary democracy supporters like myself might be a bit jittery on a no results and I think the answer comes quite clear.

    Should Ed Milliband not produce the votes or absolute majority he needs to form a Labour government without the aid of the Liberal Democrats (which I think personally will happen because I still hold the view that the coalition will not be popular with the public but Labour will not be a real alternative to the public) then I think Ed Milliband will have no choice but hold a referendum on keeping FPTP and if not which system PR or AV in any Lib Dem compromise (which for Ed’s part will secure centre/centre-left policies and kick Nick Clegg as Leader she he still remain in that position).

    That situation puts Labour under terrible pressure, especially on the left of the party, on which system they should back the Alternative Vote which gives people more choice, makes MP’s more accountable but by far is not proportional or fair or PR which destroys a constituency link, will see the end of Labour only government but makes it more fair and in someway ensure a coalition of the left be in the heart of British democracy.

    For someone like me that will increase the likelihood of PR winning in any such referendum or adopting a system used in Scotland and Wales of mixed-additional vote which will spell an end of constituency based politics. This could possibly make the British public more anxious and angry about politics when we have to see more coalitions and back-room deals done again which have proven unpopular in recent opinion polls when asked about PR in general.

    Ed will have no choice to secure a coalition but to give that PR option in any coalition deal.

    The only chance of constituency based democracy being secured would be to see a conservative led government or even possibly a successive conservative-libdem coalition but that will not see AV coming into play and just continue with the current FPTP. By that time the conservative’s will be voted out in normal convetion, Labour would have abandon it’s committment to AV by arguing (we had a referendum and was rejected) to secure a party split up in government and another generation will be denyed a chance of a better electoral system and left with this roaten system.

    It was a mistake to hold a referendum so soon while the spending cuts have just started and the coalition is still young while the great unpopularity of the LibDems and Clegg have only recently been planted.

    The referendum should have been called on 2014, based on a complusory voted (no if, no buts) based on two ballots. One ballot asking the British public if they would like to keep the current FPTP and a second ballot asking and if not which system would you like to be adopted instead with AV and PR being given their option. Much fairer, simplier, better timing and more consistent for the British public.

  17. Andy C

    Agreed that this was the wrong referendum, on the wrong issue, at the wrong time. no doubt it was the arrogance of Westminster politicians that meant that they didn’t bother to give us a NZ type referendum.

    As to your “This could possibly make the British public more anxious and angry about politics when we have to see more coalitions” – the Scots, Welsh and N Irish don’t seem to have had a problem with coping with coalitions, so which Brits are you talking about?

  18. I think the incoherence and lack of argument from both sides is astonishing. Just who appointed those in charge of either campaign. The only literature that could possibly have enlightened people was the original pamphlet explaining the system.

    The change proposed is modest but significant. It has nothing to do with proportionality. It is about legitimacy of local mp’s in local constituencies being acceptable to more constituents than any other candidate. As such it is an improvement on the present fptp. It should also allow voters to vote positively for their first choice secure in the knowledge that in the final round their vote can still count between the remaining candidates.

    And that’s it really. Not earth-shattering, not PR merely a better – that is more accountable -system of electing single constituency mp’s. There will still be safe seats, marginals and possibility of majority government on minority of votes.

    Minor parties will probably see their votes rise in line with their real support and surprises may well occur – for example a number of lib-dem held seats in Scotland may well in fact turn out to be NAT seats, as the reality is that in these seats tactical voting had skewed the electorate’s voting pattern in an anti Tory sentiment. In the south east it may well end up that UKIP actually takes some seats in suburban disaffected shires where they offer an alternative to a Tory coalition that they believe to be too liberal on Europe, immigration and Civil liberties issues.

    It will probably be defeated – the English don’t like change in any institutions even when systems clearly don’t deliver effectively – the rejection of regional government springs to mind.

    There was an earlier point that I thought valid. If Scotland votes yes what posible reason can there be for not allowing AV to operate in Scottish constituencies and fptp in others. Otherwise it merely serves to expose once again the democratic deficit within the Union ( Dear God I am sounding almost NAT like here!)

  19. Why is Nick Clegg standing back and letting DC deliberately distort the system, when he needs LibDem MPs to stay in power, if he just argued against it and the vote was lost then fair enough, but if he’s throwing this much s**t then they’ll have every right to throw their dollies out of the pram.

  20. @OldNat
    As to your “This could possibly make the British public more anxious and angry about politics when we have to see more coalitions” – the Scots, Welsh and N Irish don’t seem to have had a problem with coping with coalitions, so which Brits are you talking about?
    The Brits which don’t have access to a semi-proportional/proportional system which allows logical/natural coalitions to form?

  21. Craig

    Ah! That would be those living in England then?

    Must be because they love Parliamentary Sovereignity and are just used to doing what the politicians tell them. Poor dears.

  22. iceman

    “Dear God I am sounding almost NAT like here!”

    There, that wasn’t so bad, was it?

    Welcome to thinking about the UK in a rational way.

  23. @ Crossbat11/Nick H

    “I have to say that I share your sense of despair about the quality of debate and the likely triumph of, essentially, a deeply conservative cause. My instinct is always to favour the forces of change and renewal, but I fear that the Hobson’s Choice presented in the forthcoming referendum was always going to favour the argument to stick rather than twist. AV is a slightly better voting system than FPTP, but only marginally so and it does not address the real issue of a lack of proportionality inherent in both systems.

    I’ve never bought the argument that AV is a staging post to real PR; it may well be a cul-de-sac for genuine change. For those committed to a genuinely proportionate voting system, like me, then I think a tactical No vote is the best way forward. We then need to form an irresistible single issue pressure group that would ensure that the progressive political parties commit to a referendum on genuine PR as and when they gain power. I think, when explained, it’s a vote winner. AV is neither fish nor foul, I fear.”

    Do you really feel that way though? I like FPTP. I don’t think it’s the stuff of dinosaurs. And even if it is old, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong or bad. I think if FPTP was producing results that the majority of the electorate did not want, then I think you’d have a reason to abandon that. But I rarely see that (we’ll find out if Canada’s election this year is an exception). FPTP may not be a thing of beauty or great artbut things don’t have to be beautiful in order to work and work well. Maybe FPTP encourages two party dominant systems and perhaps is unfair to third parties and independents. I say so be it and here’s why:

    1. I care more about individual voters and the performance of individual office holders than Ic are about the rights of parties.

    2. No party is ever going to 100% comport with your political views (unless you found and/or you’re a blind loyalist who says “My Party: right or wrong”).

    3. Ultimately someone has to be in charge and make decisions. And someone has to be accountable. I don’t think you get that in these proportional representation elections in Europe. You have constant coalitions and political chicanery and negotiations. No one is ever really in charge and no one is ever accountable for government f-ups. FPTP gets you there. It makes it more likely that one party will hold a majority of seats. When s**t hits the fan, it’s on them to deal with it. If they screw up, they’re responsible for it.

    I caveat this with the fact that this may work for me because of (1) party primaries, (2) separation of powers, (3) staggered elections, and (4) an independent judiciary that can strike down laws. So for all that I just said, you (and other supporters for electoral reform) might be completely 100% right. For me though, I strongly like FPTP.

  24. @OldNat
    Must be because they love Parliamentary Sovereignity and are just used to doing what the politicians tell them. Poor dears.
    Yeah, because we’ve been richly rewarded by our past experimentation, haven’t we? We experimented all 80’s and it got us unopposed Thatcherism, to the point where the once “too left” party got completely hollowed out in a desperate bid to win back support – and when realising that, and voting Lib Dem in the mid to late 00’s – it’s got us a lovely Con-Lib coalition.

  25. Craig

    You experimented with nothing constitutionally. That England elected Thatcher (and subjected the rest of us to her vision) was precisely the result of what you wanted – the occasional chance for Labour (if it became right wing enough) to occasionally make minor changes in England.

  26. @Colin

    “Can you point to anyone on the Yes side with a tenth of Reid’s earthy , in your face conviction ?/ Indeed, as has been pointed out on another forum, the extraordinary sight of DC & JR on the same platform transmits a message of cross politics belief which is unmatched on the strangely Left wing , and not quite convincing look of the Yes side .”

    Agreed: the fact that the ‘YES’ campaign (which I support) could not garner a single senior Tory is very telling sadly.

    Its also a fact (amongst several) which is going to come back and haunt Clegg: though not necessarily the Lib Dems. If they can grow a pair, er, I mean exhibit some earthy conviction :D

  27. @ Old Nat

    “There, that wasn’t so bad, was it?

    Welcome to thinking about the UK in a rational way.”

    I think you and I think alike sometimes. Sometimes. I think you and I agree on localism (or the importance of it) and probably individual liberties (excepting the death penalty which with me is a small exception really). Though we probably have more agreement on political theory and history then we do on actual politics.

  28. No one seems to have put the daily YG up:

    YouGov/Sun results 19th April

    CON 36%, LAB 43%, LD 9%;

    APPROVAL -26

    moe trend Labour lead/ approval seems to have declined over the the last week.

  29. Craig

    And you really think that Labour would have introduced political devolution if the SNP \wasn’t a threat to Labour?

    Dream on.

    My parents signed the petition for Scottish Home Rule in the 40s. The rtesonse from \Labour then was to say that such a demand had to be demonstrated at the ballot box.

    It was. Eventually you delivered too little too late.

    You ask “How were we to?” For a start you could have stopped being played by Establishment politicians into thinking short term that you had to heve one or the other.

    It doesn’t work short term! When I first joined the SNP it was such a small movement that it didn’t even fight all \the Scottish seats.

  30. How were the SNP a threat in 1997? You had 6 seats. The devolution was simply so they could placate the nationalists whilst protecting their main concern – their status as a ruler of the UK. PR is completely different – Labour know that FPTP and other majoritarian systems are their one and only lifeblood; we’ll never be granted that no matter how much a third party and majority support neccessitates it. You can hardly call the UK’s movements to third parties as short term efforts either. 1982-2011 is not short term, and all it’s brought us is fucking awful politics which are worse than the two-party dominated post-war politics. Every time the Left splits – because it’s consistantly the Left looking elsewhere – we’re subjected to even further rabid right-wing policies. I’ve no doubt it’ll happen once again when “Purple Labour” or “Blue Labour” come into realisation and we’re subjected to more Tory-by-another-name bollocks.

    Although I’m not sure what you’re addressing me as when you say “you delivered”; an English person, or a Labour voter. If it’s the latter I’ve never voted Labour in my life (the last time I would’ve, oddly, is 1983) – I’m simply explaining the reasoning in English mentality[]

  31. It looks like AV will be “no”. IMO, mainly thanks to the efforts of DC & the Tory faithful.

    Which is ironic, don’t you think, because AV would likely have benefited the Tories in 2015.
    8-)

  32. @ Old Nat

    “And you really think that Labour would have introduced political devolution if the SNP \wasn’t a threat to Labour?

    Dream on.

    My parents signed the petition for Scottish Home Rule in the 40s. The rtesonse from \Labour then was to say that such a demand had to be demonstrated at the ballot box.

    It was. Eventually you delivered too little too late.

    You ask “How were we to?” For a start you could have stopped being played by Establishment politicians into thinking short term that you had to heve one or the other.

    It doesn’t work short term! When I first joined the SNP it was such a small movement that it didn’t even fight all \the Scottish seats.”

    Wow, you come from a strong line of independence seekers! I’m impressed by the commitment.

    It’s ironic to me how distinctly the English and Scots see themselves and view each other in the UK. This is because those Americans who are of Scottish descent are often labeled (mistakenly) as wasps, viewed as Anglos, and often see themselves as wasps. I doubt anyone in the UK would label Scots as “bluebloods” or elites.

    I wonder how much Scottish independence is driven by the oil discovery in the North Sea. There is only one independence seeking party in the United States that actively seeks complete independence and separation from the United States. And the party is not in any of the four states that actually were independent nations before joining the United States (none of whom have independence parties though there are some small independence movements in three of them). It’s Alaska, with its massive oil and mineral resources. They’re not a complete fringe party either, they’ve elected multiple public officials including a Governor.

    (I do consider the D.C. Statehooders to be and independence seeking party but of course they obviously don’t seek separation from the United States……well I saw one diary on Daily Kos about a week ago advocating something close to that but that’s a rare exception).

  33. @ Amber Star

    “It looks like AV will be “no”. IMO, mainly thanks to the efforts of DC & the Tory faithful.

    Which is ironic, don’t you think, because AV would likely have benefited the Tories in 2015.”

    I’m not sure you can really predict who will benefit in advance through models (I’ve never seen an electoral model that works that way…..and I’m kinda glad there isn’t one). I think supporters of AV are on the left because they see it as a way to have automatic tactical voting. No messy secret arrangements, no confused voters, no wasted votes, etc. And Tories oppose this because they see AV and fear oblivion. Notwithstanding predictions here that this model would benefit the Tories.

    I have a feeling though that even under AV, the Tories may very well have won every election they won during their 18 years in power. Maybe with fewer seats. I think that even when parties fail to win 50% of the vote in a FPTP election, the plurality winner is still seen as the legitimate winner in the eyes of the public.

    I’ll give you an example. Right after Canada’s 2008 election which returned a Conservative minority government that had won with 38% of the vote, there was an attempt by the three opposition parties to depose the sitting Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, and form a coalition government. This was even though the main opposition Liberals had lost seats and votes in the election and the Conservatives, while still a minority government, had gained seats and votes.

    Now at the time I read about this, I told some left wing Canadians posting on an American political blog that I thought this might look bad politically for them. Harper had just won reelection doing this might be seen as ignoring the will of the electorate. I suggested this might bolster support for Harper and make the Liberals look like sore losers (and desperate) and make the the NDP and Bloc Quebec look like pure political opportunisits.

    Well this didn’t go over very well. I was told that I didn’t know anything, that as an American I simply didn’t understand how a Parliamentary system worked, that I didn’t understand Canadian politics at all, that this was a perfectly fine political move, etc. One angry blogger told me she was “floored” by my reasoning. since the three parties had received far more of the combined vote than Harper’s party.

    Well as it turns out, I was right (and I don’t really follow Canadian politics). Because polls saw support move heavily in favor of Harper with a majority of voters favoring the Conservatives and a majority opposed to the proposed coalition government. The party might have received 38% and a minority of the seats but as the largest party and the party with the most votes, they were seen as the legitimate election winners. The public rallied to their side.

    It makes me wonder (1) if average Brits really see plurality winners as somehow illegitimate, (2) if AV would damage the Tories, and (3) if proposed reform does anything more than benefit smaller political parties.

  34. @SoCalLiberal

    “Coalition of the losers” can only work if the winner’s ruling on a minority; that fact alone radically changes how they’ll then do so.

  35. Well, short of an extraordinary change in VI it’s all over for AV..

    How kind or unkind will political historians be to NC? From hero to zero in just over 12 months! I suppose he is assured of a place in history either way.

    It is now just a matter of when NC is replaced as leader of the LD party.

    The primary aim of the LDs is (was?) electoral reform with PR being introduced. AV was a miserable alternative (to misquote NC). NC’s acceptance of an AV referendum was a sell-out of LD principles. Worse still, electoral reform may well have been made impossible for a long time and the LD party reduced again to a handful of MPs.

    The bright side to all this is that the next six months will be very interesting. Can anyone suggest a suitable date for GE in the autumn?

  36. Amber – my take is that No willl win due to the at best luke warm Labour Party support in fact downright opposition amongst the majority of members.

  37. FPTP is an absurd system but popular with both main parties because it gives them majority power on a minority vote. Both would rather let the other side win sometimes than lose their own chance of occasional absolute power.

    Clegg should have secured a commitment to an independent public information campaign explaining how AV works. At least then most people would be voting on facts rather than propaganda.

  38. @Mike N
    The case of NC is very similar to that of Guido Westerwelle, ex-leader of the German Liberals. In 2009 GE his party obtained 15%, one of its brightest scores, and became the junior partner of the Christian Democrats. But only 1.5 year after his triumph, which had propelled him to no2 of German gvt, he was forced to resign: not liberal enough for the die-hard “orange-bookers”, too liberal for the others, he was charged with all the failures of the Merkel administration and got no credit for the successes of German economy, thus becoming the expiatory victim. Of course his party is no better off now, all recent polls (6 institutes) have them from 3 to 5%, average 4%, i.e. below the threshold for entering Parliament. In general 2011 is poised to become a real “annus horribilis” for the ELDR parties. They have already lost two PMs (Cowen and Kiviniemi) out of five they had, and will almost certainly lose one more in autumn (Rasmussen), they have been evicted from two German State Parliaments, and if the results of May elections and referendum in the UK are what the polls say they will be, then the disaster will be complete. The question is, who profits from their fall? In Germany, it is undoubtedly the Greens, and, to a minor extent, the Social Democrats. In UK, it is clearly Labour. In Eire, it was both FG and Labor. In Finland, the right-wing populist True Finns. In Denmark, all center-left parties, and especially the Social Democrats.

  39. RogerH

    NC should not have abandoned PR which was (is) the primary aim of the LD party, and should have rejected AV as the price for entering coaltion.

    Forget failure of AV… the real failure is that of NC.

    NC will be ‘happy’ to have people arguing about where the Yes2Av campaign failed…as this will hide his own abject failure and betrayal of LD principles.

  40. “Well, short of an extraordinary change in VI it’s all over for AV..”

    Agreed.
    I was sceptical of one poll showing such a massive change but two cannot easily be ignored or just dismissed as rogue or outliers.

    The only possible grain of comfort for Yes supporters would be complaceny from No voters certain of a win not turning out and boosting the No vote. But that’s really clutching at straws with that kind of lead.

    “Can anyone suggest a suitable date for GE in the autumn?”

    I would be wary of thinking a quick deposing of Clegg is certain if it is No. If it’s a hefty No and May really is a disaster for the Lib Dems then he will be far from safe.

    But there is already talk of Cameron rolling out a lot of Lib Dem friendly policies after May to boost Clegg’s position as leader and to try and shore him up. Add to that the bunker mentality already evident around Clegg and it’s likely he will hang on like a limpet because he thinks his only chance of redemption wil be to serve a full five years and hope things will get better by themselves.

    Personally I can’t conceive of Nick Clegg fighting another GE but he will not go easily as he may be prepared to tolerate watching the Lib Dems reduced to a tiny rump of activists and MPs to see his five year plan through to the bitter end.

  41. Virgilio
    Thanks – I’m vaguely reminded of the Greek legend of the hero who with artificial wings flew too close to the sun ((I did first write ‘the Sun’)) so the wax melted and he plummeted to earth.

    How the mighty fall.

  42. Cameron would never have put PR on the table (and there’s certainly no majority in the HoC for it, possibly even for a referendum). Maybe Clegg should have walked and let the Tories go on as a minority government. I’m not a fan of the Coalition but I thought that AV would be at least some benefit.

  43. @MikeH
    Can anyone suggest a suitable date for GE in the autumn?
    _______________________
    No, because there won’t be one. But what is becoming quite plausible is that the coalition won’t last until 2015 and that we’ll see a GE before then.

    A more likely timetable is
    – Simmering discontent with Clegg’s failure breaks out into the open in the latter half of 2011 and gradually builds
    – Leadership challenge in early 2012, Clegg replaced by Fallon, seen as the candidate best placed to distance the LDs from Cameron
    – Fallon pulls the LDs out of the coalition, but allows Cons to carry on as a minority government
    – LDs demonstrate their separateness from Cons by voting down lots of Con legislation and generally criticising the Cons
    – LD vote recovers to about 15%, Fallon considers that modest recovery won’t be sustained if the Cons are allowed to continue to 2015 and pulls the plug. GE in 2013.

  44. “Personally I can’t conceive of Nick Clegg fighting another GE”

    Ironically I think he’d have struggled to keep his seat under AV but can probably retain it under FPTP.

  45. Mick Park

    I agree DC will want to help his partner NC, but I think that the Con party are probably close to the point where it will assert itself and restrict DC’s scope of actions.

    Let’s take immigration…DC appears to be rowing back on the ‘tens of thousands’ promise, just over a week after a big speech on the issue. This would seem to be because of LD (and VC) considerations. Well, the Con party ain’t happy with this development.

    The tensions within the parties must be approaching breaking point IMO. Something will give, soon.

  46. Phil

    Your timetable is plausible. But I’ve always believed that the coaltion could rapidly unravel – it just needs a suitable catalyst/cause.

    Decimation of LDs in the local elections and rejection of AV may prove to be the event.

    I’m thinking there’ll be a GE in Nov 2011.

  47. Nick Clegg married into a political family (on the Spanish right) and he has made more than one reference to the fact that he is building up a deficit in his commitment to a 50/50 share of domestic duties.

    She specialises in EU and international trade law, should an appropriate post in Belgium come vacant, Nick will give it careful considerstion.

  48. “But what is becoming quite plausible is that the coalition won’t last until 2015 and that we’ll see a GE before then.”

    When the coalition was formed the thorny subject of the exact logisitics of how the Lib Dems and Conservatives would ‘decouple’ and fight a GE was glossed over.

    I think it’s pretty clear that such a decoupling will take at least 6 months and more likely a year when we see how fraught with difficulty Clegg and Cameron are finding such a temporary decoupling a mere year out from the forming of the coalition as they try to fight these May elections.

    How it all comes to pass is speculation of course, but it’s stretching credibility to think it will be an entirely amicable separation with a neat checklist of policies for each Party to show the the voter to ponder over.
    It’s going to be very messy.

  49. Some of the Lib Dems are getting annoyed by Tories making nasty comments about them, while making the case for a NO vote in the AV ref. Even Cameron is supposed to have made a veiled attack on Clegg over broken pledges, which some have intepreted as being about the tuition fees NUS pledge card.

    If the AV campaigns carry on this way, I wonder whether the coaltion cabinet will be on speaking terms after May 5th. If the Lib Dems lose the ref, I suspect that they will seek revenge by making the Tories agree to changes, particularly on NHS reforms.

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