BBC BLOGS - Newsnight: Michael Crick
« Previous | Main | Next »

How Labour support for AV has waned

Michael Crick | 16:04 UK time, Wednesday, 27 April 2011

When the histories of the AV referendum are written - instant bestsellers, no doubt - the focus will be on the Labour vote.

In particular, the failure of Ed Miliband to give a strong lead to the pro-AV forces within the Labour Party, and above all the sudden switch among such a large section of the party.

Remember, it was actually Labour, not the Lib Dems, who first proposed the idea of a referendum on AV - in Gordon Brown's 2009 conference speech.

And remarkably, at an important meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) in early 2010 he got the policy through with just three MPs voting against. Yes, THREE.

OK, supporting a referendum on AV isn't quite the same thing as supporting AV itself, but they come pretty close.

Now we learn that 131 Labour MPs are signed up to the No campaign, more than half the PLP.

How the world changes.


  • Comment number 1.

    I wonder how many of that 131 feel that AV gave them the wrong Milliband.

  • Comment number 2.


    PARTIES are the key to corrupt British politics. AV is a miserable little piece of Cameron contempt. It will have no impact on Westminster's contempt for the voter.

  • Comment number 3.

    I think we are seeing the difference between listening to the arguments and agreeing that all the evidence is on the side of AV, and between realising that AV might actually happen, and that you have got a job as an MP under FPTP, and that AV might be a better idea for the country, but that it might change things enough in your constituency that you might not have a job after the next election and... well, the first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it isn't it?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.