The NO Campaign’s Secret Weapon

As polling day approaches, the No campaign have deployed their most devastating attack on AV yet.

Signed, sealed, delivered. 

The Guilty Men

Poor Patrick Wintour, just a couple of weeks ago he has was gleefully preaching the merits of the AV system to the Guardian choir, yet today he has almost begun naming the names of who is to blame for Yes running such an antiquated campaign.

Bad news for Huhne. His less than subtle leadership politicking has has gone down badly with the Yes team saying it “went on too long for self-serving purposes”. The campaign had until then had taken the decision not to rebut all the accusations put to them by No, but this may prove to have been their fatal mistake. But all is not lost, they do have one big trick up their sleeves: “The yes team are even scanning the 10-day weather forecast in the hope that God will prove to be a late convert” Desperate times…

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Tories Enlist Karate Kid Against AV

The latest Tory referendum advert seems reminiscent of the Karate Kid…

State of the Race
Double Poll Boost For No

After yesterday’s thumping in the ICM/Guardian poll the Yes campaign are extremely grumpy this morning. Just take what one patronising Cambridge boffin supporter had to say about the electorate:

http://twitter.com/beccy1606/status/60268533740863488

Charming.

Well Guido has more bad news for Yes. In a the biggest survey yet, Saga has polled 11,801 people over the age of 50. No is on 50% with just 32% for yes. And remember kids, old people are the most likely to vote…

Standard Back No2AV

Given that the paper said at their debate last week that they didn’t care who you voted for, as long as you went out there and engaged, it’s no surprise that the Yes campaign are a little put out that the Standard have announced in tonight’s edition that London should say no “to this flawed, unwanted, unnecessary piece of tinkering with our constitution.” Crucially the endorsement comes with not only millions of free sheets, but also the thousands of headline placards at every tube station that worked wonders for Boris. 

State of the Race

Alan Johnson is alive. In his first trip back into the political limelight since his “problems”, he joined the Yes campaign rally with Miliband and Cable, but no Nick. Somewhere in a cupboard in Cowley Street, the Deputy Prime Minister is desperately  trying to break out and campaign for his beloved voting reform. It’s quite hard to spin that this isn’t referendum on Clegg when you ban him from the stage. 

The Yes campaign’s tactics have come under attack even from their own side today. Total Politics carries a raging piece from industry experts who accuse Yes of re-running the failed Euro campaign of the nineties:

“‘Yes’ has run a classic establishment campaign. Lots of prominent places for Westminster insiders; a nice smattering of the usual (boring) B-grade celebs who bang on about politics between filming reality shows, and ads in comfortable shades of pastels that look like every second Department of Health campaign or those posters the council puts on bus shelters up to tell you which day to put out your recycling.”

Meanwhile twenty minutes later Cameron popped up with Lord Reid. The former Labour Home Secretary accused the “moaners and losers”  in the LibDems of wanting AV purely for political reasons. Well someone had to say it…

Elsewhere No2AV head Matthew Elliot put the boot into Clegg this morning:

“he claimed that we are having this referendum “because of the expenses crisis”. Given Nick’s role in the coalition negotiations, this is a frankly bizarre lie. We are having this referendum for the one and only reason that the Lib Dems demanded it.”

Guido has already commented on the IPPR push poll and their squiffy results. Yesterday’s balanced and professional ComRes poll said that only 37 per cent of people backed AV. With 43 per cent against. 17 days to go…

UPDATE: Nick Robinson is wondering where Nick is too.

State of the Race
Yes Campaign’s Smoking Gun Memo

Yesterday can’t have been fun for the Yes campaign. Ed Howker was leaked a document from the the campaign’s biggest donor the Electoral Reform Society, that proved, despite the legal threats to the contrary, that they were set to profit from a Yes result.

They concede in the strategy memo that their commercial wing is a weak spot:

“It is possible that ERSL will profit as a result of a YES vote (increased business opportunities”

And they are well aware of how damaging it could be:

“ERSL fear that negative publicity might affect union clients, Conservative Party or other No supporters which in turn, might affect future dividends.”

The Sun and the Mail have gone to town and even the pro Yes Guardian found it worthy of a thorough writeup. It all makes yesterday’s denial look a little silly. It’s not best to try cover these things up if you put it in writing yourself.

Elsewhere the shock IPPR YouGov poll that found 45% in favour of AV has been shredded by the experts due to the fact that its leading questions read like a Yes press release. Even more money going on No this morning

Yes AV, No2Press Freedom

Guido understands that newspaper editors are getting grumpy letters this afternoon from lovely lawyers Lewis Silken acting on behalf of the Yes camp. Previous clients include that well known seeker of truth Nat Rothschild. Desperation has crept into the Yes […]

+ READ MORE +

Chancellor Says Yes Campaign “Stinks”

Theoretically Hague is meant to be leading the No2AV charge for the Tories, yet he has been virtually invisible so far due to Libya et al. Instead Osborne has given the Yes campaign two barrels in not one, but […]

+ READ MORE +

Yes To Vaguer Votes

The Yes campaign broadcast that is going out tonight consists of slightly odd-looking LibDem types annoyingly screaming through megaphones into people’s faces. It pretty much sums up their entire campaigning style.

It’s notable that they don’t even try to explain […]

+ READ MORE +

Alan B’stard Says “Yes to AV”

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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