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 team as they seem to have realised quite how bad the ERS funding controversy is for them.

All very new politics.

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 two, identical interviews this morning. He told the Mail:

“The ERS, which is actually running some of the referendum ballots, and is being paid to do that by the taxpayer, stands to benefit if AV comes in… that organisation, the Electoral Reform Society – part of it is a company that makes money – is funding the Yes campaign. That stinks frankly and is exactly the sort of dodgy, behind the scenes shenanigans that people don’t like about politics.”

He told the Sun it was “dodgy” and they have a new poll that shows the more people know about AV the less they like it. When asked the referendum question 44% said No – with 37% backing Yes. But this grows to 45% and 33% once the system is explained. The bookies prices reflect this with with the latest odds for Yes at 44% (+6%) versus no 60% (-1%). It seems Yes’s attempt to become the anti-politics vote is falling flat.

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 how their complex system works or how it would make centrist MPs, like the LibDems, work any harder. They are the ones that will benefit with  AV as they are naturally the second preference choice of most Labour and Tory voters. But they’re hardly going to cough that this late in the game.

The Indy have regurgitated a Yes press release this morning “revealing” that the No team has a fair sprinkling of Tories among its staff, yet fail to note the senior Labour players. It’s hardly a surprise that the Tories are on board given which way the parties are split on the issue and it’s not as if they tried to hide them. Campaign chairman Matthew Elliot and Finance Director Charlotte Vere even popped up in their broadcast last night:

The Yes campaign is a LibDem front, funded by LibDem donors and reliant on LibDem supporters. Pushing Labour’s Jessica Asato out as fig leaf is never going to disguise that.

Alan B'stard Says "Yes to AV"

And The Winner Is….?

Say what you like about First Past The Post, but you know who the winner is without the need for 8 recounts or electronic voting machines. Complexity is the key feature of AV, STV and PR…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Under Alternative Vote the BNP's Voters Could Swing 35 Seats

Research out today from the No to AV campaign suggests that in the region of 35 constituencies could have their outcomes determined by the second preferences of BNP voters. This is the unwelcome empowerment that the AV system brings to democracy.[…]

+ READ MORE +

AV Too Much for BBC

The BBC’s two hour attempt to sell AV to the listeners of Radio 5 backfired spectacularly. Not only did Labour win with the Greens in second, something which is sure to go down with their core audience of cabbies and truckers, but it also went out of its way to prove the complexity of the system.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Kinnock Supports "Yes to AV"Pockets £103,000 in Fees from Electronic Voting Lobbyists

Neil Kinnock was leader of the Labour Party during the heyday of the SDP-Liberal Alliance. During that period if he had offered the olive branch of electoral reform to the third party he could well have become prime minister. He didn’t out of principle, because in those days he wanted a left-wing Labour government.[…]

+ READ MORE +

AV Drives a Wedge Through Miliband's Troops

As Miliband steps up to give his first proper speech on why he apparently loves AV, two hundred of his MPs and Peers, including some in his Shadow Cabinet, are thumbing their nose at him. As the Labour Yes and No campaigns launch, a huge divide is opening up right down the middle of the Labour Party.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Clegg Fails to Recall His Manifesto

Nick Clegg has just said during DPMQs that the power to recall MPs isn’t going to be granted anytime soon. He said he didn’t want to aid “vexatious and unjustified” complaints and was very vague about when such a procedure will be put in place, or how it will work.  […]

+ READ MORE +

13 Counts in Kilkenny

The Irish have been counting the results of their general election on… Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and still today, Kilkenny has gone to a thirteenth count. Imagine if last year’s general election had taken days to count, n0t to mention negotiate a coalition at the same time.[…]

+ READ MORE +

No 2 Nick

It was heavily recommended last week that the No2AV campaign take the fight to Nick Clegg.

That should do the trick…[…]

+ READ MORE +



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