Daily Archives: May 9, 2010

Jim Pickard

Those who support electoral reform seem to think that the public is crying out for a change in the way we vote; even outside Lib Dem circles. A survey in the Sunday Times today suggests that 62 per cent of people want a more proportionate system of voting (against 13 per cent who don’t).

I’m suspicious about that poll and would love to see how the question was phrased. I also think Michael Gove hit the nail on the head when he told today’s Andrew Marr Show that Thursday’s result proved one major advantage of first-past-the-post; people could throw out those MPs tarnished by the expenses scandal (eg Jacqui Smith). That would be harder to do under many PR/AV systems*.

The old argument against proportional representation or a hybrid model is that it gives more voice to the most minor parties. Would its proponents really be so happy to see the British National Party get seats in the Commons? That, presumably, would be the outcome given that the BNP picked up 562,000 votes last week – up from 192,000 in 2005 (although it’s not entirely straightforward; see the update below). Read more

Jim Pickard

This was the excruciating moment after the first leaders’ debate when Nick Clegg wanted to follow Gordon Brown into the crowd for some glad-handing. But he was ordered to stay put by David Cameron. (Hat-Tip Political Scrapbook for the original clip).

There are three broad models for a deal, which is looking ever more likely.

A full coalition: A clutch of cabinet posts for the Lib Dems. Collective responsibility. A multi-year legislative agenda and a complex arrangements for co-operating in government, resolving disputes, sharing information, developing policy. Cameron wins stable backing for a full term, take bulk of credit while sharing fallout from unpopular decisions. Both leaders face possible uprising from activists. Lib Dems struggle to maintain distinctive identity. The least likely option. Read more