Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Saturday, July 03, 2010

A vote to nowhere?

The LibDems were promised a referendum on voting changes in the coalition agreement. It remains to be seen if the vote will be meaningful.

Conservatives and Labour bid to disrupt voting reform
Nick Clegg's plan to reform the UK's electoral system was tonight caught in a pincer movement between Conservative backbenchers and elements of the Labour party, who both want to change the date of the referendum and potentially derail it…

The Liberal Democrats' opponents started to lay down the battle lines today after the Guardian revealed that Clegg would announce… that a referendum will be held on 5 May. The deputy prime minister wants to hold the vote on that date to maximise turnout as voters will be going to the polls in the local elections in England and the elections to the devolved bodies.

Downing Street confirmed that David Cameron would campaign for a no vote. Under the coalition agreement with the Lib Dems, the prime minister pledged the Tories would support legislation enabling a referendum. But he and his party would be free to campaign for a no vote…

[Shadow justice secretary, Jack] Straw said he would support a referendum on AV because Labour pledged to hold one in its general election manifesto. But he told Radio 4's The World at One: "There is an issue about the date. We have got to think about this."…

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