Will any Tory MPs Back AV?
It's a question I've been asking for months now. Are there any prominent Conservatives who will vote for the Alternative Vote in the referendum? Probably. But will they dare to admit they are doing so?
Of senior ministers, Michael Gove is thought to be a possible Yes voter, but he has yet to commit himself publicly. And I have twice asked the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley how he will vote, and twice he wouldn't say. So two possible Yeses there.
David Mowat, the MP for Warrington South, tells me that he's an "agnostic" on the matter. He has yet to make up his mind, he says, and is not committed to First-Past-The-Post in the way most of his colleagues are. "I think the existing system tends to benefit the Labour Party," he told me today.
Mowat has a majority of 1,553 over Labour in Warrington, and recently said of his situation locally: "If we did have AV and we put Lib Dems second and they put us second, it would be very likely to give us a better result than we might achieve under first-past-the post. There could be a squeeze effect on Labour."
Sounds like a Yes voter to me.