Friday, 1 March 2013

Would Cameron have preferred AV now?

I wonder if anyone else had this thought after the Eastleigh result was announced? AV is not a proportional system, but in this constituency at this time it would surely have prevented the conservative vote being split.

LibDem 13342
Con 10559
UKIP 11571
Labour 4088

That was the first reaction, followed swiftly by a sense of relief that the Conservatives did not win and give support to the hard line on Europe and social security cuts which LibDems in coalition have been fighting against. It also meant that Channel 4 News, virtually the whole of the press and the BBC, failed in their attempt to decide who should lead the Liberal Democrats by means of the Rennard allegations.

It is a great result for Diane James and UKIP, in that order. From what little I saw of her on television it was clear that she was personable and media-friendly, and in my opinion more effective than her party leader, Nigel Farage, would have been.

For Labour, it is a sign that they need to keep channels open to other parties, especially the Liberal Democrats. The LibDems are clearly not going to be decimated or worse, as the opinion polls in the press suggest. It is more than likely that there will again be no clear winner at the next election.

Congratulations to Mike Thornton and to what must have been over a thousand LibDem volunteers who turned out for the Eastleigh campaign.

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