About a week ago, UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced the date for the referendum on adopting the Alternative Vote for Commons elections. According to the legislation, which must be approved by Parliament, the referendum would be on 5 May 2011.
This is the same date as Scottish, Welsh, Northern Ireland, and some local elections. This concurrence of elections has already become a matter of controversy.
Assuming the referendum goes ahead, the Conservatives will campaign against it. The coalition agreement only committed the two parties to holding a referendum, not to supporting its passage. The opposition Labour Party, despite having had such a referendum in its own campaign manifesto, is actually quite divided on the question. And now with the new Lib-Con politics, it may even be that Labour would be the party most hurt by AV. So the referendum’s passage is by no means certain.
UK Polling Report has had a series of posts regarding polling on the AV question.
This was originally a planting about Pippa Norris’s blog, reading:
It just came to my attention that Pippa Norris has a blog. (The archives go back to December, 2008. Where have I been?) Much there of interest to F&V readers, especially on the recent British election.
However, it somehow transformed itself in the comment thread into one about AV in the UK. Sometimes the tree has to bend with the wind…
(And this explains why some of the comments are older than the post’s current date. And why one of them is actually about Pippa Norris.)