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I blogged here a couple of weeks ago about the possibility that moving to AV could hurt the Lib Dems as it would mean Labour and Conservative voters would no longer vote for them to keep the other big party out.
Part of what triggered that blog was the news that the Tories’ chief whip had shown potential rebels against the AV referendum bill a list of vulnerable MPs should the reform go through. That list was apparently populated by more Lib Dems than Tories.
And the suggestion that the Tories could do well out of AV (contrary to the findings of this poll by YouGov for the Spectator) is backed up by a fresh poll out today by Populus for the Tory peer Lord Ashcroft. Read more
The coalition is slowly learning it might be worth getting the details right when announcing controversial policies.
Following Michael Gove’s botched announcement about school rebuilding project, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Vince Cable have all been under attack this morning over revelations in the FT about the decision to cancel a loan to Sheffield Forgemasters.
The story revealed that contrary to statements made in the Commons by both Nick Clegg and David Cameron, the directors at the steel company had agreed to sell shares to private equity groups to raise extra cash as part of the loan deal. Ed Miliband (taking a leaf out of the Ed Balls’ “fast response” playbook) has written a letter to John Bercow, the speaker, calling for the two to apologise to the House. Read more
By George Parker, political editor
David Cameron did his bit for the age of austerity by flying into Washington last night on a commercial BA flight, dropping the practice of previous prime ministers of crossing the Atlantic in a specially chartered plane.
Onlookers noted Cameron snugly billeted alongside Ed Llewellyn, his owlish chief of staff, as he caught some sleep ahead of the two-day visit to Washington DC and New York.
The decision is supposed to save money, but it also gives Cameron a good excuse not to talk to the travelling press en route to Washington – an informal feature of previous prime ministerial visits.
Cameron is understandably wary of the way the media tends to cover trips to the White House. Gordon Brown’s encounters with the US president invariably ended up being stories about “snubs” – a storyline the new PM is anxious to avoid. Read more
Fox loses ground to the Treasury over Trident — FT
Keep the deterrent secret and cheap — Gideon Rachman/FT
Cameron puts special relationship on less emotional footing — FT
Whitehall efficiency savings? Reliably dubious or detrimental — FT
Clegg’s boundary reforms will disenfranchise the poor — Tristam Hunt
Cameron plots route out of Afghanistan — Rachel Sylvester/Times
Whatever happened to Cam Force One? — The Sun
The sudden lull in newspaper polling — Political Betting
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