AV: Poll lead for yes campaign as Clegg set to take back seat

A majority of the public will vote yes in the alternative vote (AV) referendum, according to an ICM poll in today's Independent; 56% favour AV, 44% oppose.

A majority of the public will vote yes in the alternative vote (AV) referendum, according to an ICM poll in today’s Independent. When asked a straight question about which voting system they prefer, similar to the one which will appear on the ballot paper, 56 per cent said they favoured AV, with 44 per cent preferring first-past-the-post (FPTP).

The result comes as Nick Clegg looks set to be sidelined from the campaign, the Indy reporting:

The new survey has reinforced the Yes camp’s determination to ensure that politicians – including Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader – play a low-key role in its drive.

“We have to ensure that the referendum is not seen through the prism of party politics,” said one senior figure in the campaign.

He denied that Mr Clegg would be sidelined because his personal ratings have plummeted since he became Deputy Prime Minister in May, saying that other politicians backing reform would also keep a low profile.

Worryingly, though, the report adds:

Focus groups conducted for the Electoral Commission found that some people thought AV meant being allowed to vote online or by post, referred to an unknown alternative or is a proportional system.

Countering insinuations that the poll may have been loaded, a spokesman for the AV ‘Yes’ campaign told Left Foot Forward:

“The question was what will be on the ballot paper. It was: ‘At present, the UK uses the ‘first past the post’ system to elect MPs to the House of Commons. Should the ‘alternative vote’ system be used instead?’

“No vetoes. No leading questions. That was it.”

The referendum takes place on Thursday, May 5th.

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11 Responses to “AV: Poll lead for yes campaign as Clegg set to take back seat”

  1. John Edginton

    RT @leftfootfwd: AV: Poll lead for yes campaign as Clegg set to take back seat: http://bit.ly/frcpRw reports @ShamikDas #Yes2AV

  2. Andy

    You missed out a very important bit of this: “The finding contradicts other polls which have suggested that Britain will reject AV in the referendum that takes place next May.” And only 1000 people were polled.

    My expectation is that AV will be rejected and many people, much like myself, will vote against it purely to get back at the fib dems who stole there vote.

  3. David Morris

    That Independent article does not say that Nick Clegg will be sidelined (despite the headline and what your post states).

    In fact, it says the following:

    “He denied that Mr Clegg would be sidelined because his personal ratings have plummeted since he became Deputy Prime Minister in May, saying that other politicians backing reform would also keep a low profile.”

    Nick’s name is only mentioned three times too. It’s more a general piece about the Yes and No campaigns.

  4. Spir.Sotiropoulou

    RT @leftfootfwd: AV: Poll lead for yes campaign as Clegg set to take back seat http://bit.ly/fzPSUT

  5. Will Straw

    @anthonyjwells We dont have the tables but the Q appeared in this piece http://bit.ly/frcpRw

  6. Mr. Sensible

    I will be voting against.

  7. Tim Sandle

    RT @leftfootfwd: AV: Poll lead for yes campaign as Clegg set to take back seat http://bit.ly/fzPSUT

  8. Mark

    I too will be voting against; I’m as capable of reneging on my pre-election intentions as any Liberal and, to borrow a quote, ‘such bad behaviour cannot be rewarded”. *winks at John Hemmings*

  9. What next for Parliament in 2011? » The Vibe

    […] to the future of the Lib Dems. Is Nick Clegg just ‘a blip‘ for the party or is he a dead man walking? Should the party stick together, or should it seriously consider a realignment of views? […]

  10. Richard

    What an utter farce. This is a flagship Lib Dem policy, the Holy Grail of their political ambition, one of the four sacrosanct manifesto pledges written into the coalition agreement which they are so quick to brag about, and now their party leader is taking a backseat. It plays straight into the hands of the No campaign and they will exploit it to the full. I can just see the leaflet titles. “The Lib Dems believe so deeply and sincerely in the need for electoral reform, their leader can’t even be bothered to lead the campaign for it.”

  11. David

    I will be voting Yes. Frankly I’m sick of my opinion not counting for anything because I don’t happen to live in one of the 100 (out of 650) seats that are sufficiently marginal for my vote to make a difference. I have voted in every election since 1970 and in all cases it has been pointless because the constituencies in which I have lived have always been safe Conservative seats. I’m sure conservatives living in the the North East are equally frustrated by Labour MPs with security of tenure! It’s time to shake things up, provide a fair voting system in which everyone’s opinion is taken into account and treated as being equally valid. After the expenses scandal I also feel that every MP should feel a bit a bit insecure around election time!If I had my way it would be a more radical change altogether, along the S.T.V. lines proposed by the electoral reform society for decades now. However A.V., which at least delivers proportional representation, is better than the status quo, which currently fails everyone who doesn’t live in a marginal constituency!

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