Will Cameron sanction a campaign that is hostile to his deputy?
An all-out attack on Clegg’s screeching U-turn on tuition fees may be the best chance of keeping first-past-the-post, but will Cameron sanction a campaign that is so hostile to his deputy?
Montgomerie is right that the best chance for the No campaign for the 5 May referendum is to put itself at the head of anti-politics sentiment by attacking the Most Hated Man in Britain, Nick Clegg.
The Noes are already falling behind the Yeses in competing for that oxymoron, the anti-politics vote. Last week’s blast on the trumpet for the Alternative Vote by 10 bishops was of a piece of the Yes campaign’s people vs politicians strategy.
In my column I draw attention to what I thought was a significant report on Wednesday by my good colleague Andrew Grice. It is not every day that members of the 1922 executive go on the record to criticise the Conservative leader, but Mark Pritchard and Brian Binley did just that in expressing the deep suspicion among Tory backbenchers that David Cameron intends to soft-pedal the referendum campaign, just as he did the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election.
Footnote: I am a supporter of the Alternative Vote – in principle, and not as a stepping stone to proportional representation, to which I am opposed in principle. But if I were advising the No campaign, I would suggest that they make more of an opinion poll in Australia, the only large country that uses the Alternative Vote, which found that 57 per cent want to scrap it and adopt British X-voting; only 37 per cent want to keep AV.
Australian polling operates under different rules from ours, in that data belong to the client that commissions the poll, but I have asked the IPA for detail of the question wording. All it suggests is that the grass is always greener, but Peter Facey had some trouble yesterday trying to brush it off as “a single poll”.
Photograph: PATagged in: australia, electoral reform, headline, nick clegg
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