Why David Cameron fought so hard to avoid AV
The Mole: Canadian Tories win first clear majority in years - thanks in part to first-past-the-post
With less than 24 hours before the British people, brimming with enthusiasm, go to the polling stations to have their say in the AV referendum, it's neck and neck between the Yes and No campaigns and the political pundits can barely contain their excitement.
Sorry, that was the White House speaking. Here is a revised second communique:
With less than 24 hours before (some of) the British people go to the polling stations to have their say in the AV referendum, the polls suggest an easy win for the 'No to AV' campaign. The political squabbling has not enthused the British people to vote and it seems certain first-past-the-post will remain.
Apart from some Welsh and Scots, the issue is clearly of little import to the British people. The turnout in London, where there are no council elections to attract citizens to the polls, will be lucky to hit 15 per cent.
As for the shouting match between Cabinet ministers, and whether the coalition can weather this storm, the question come May 6 - well, more like May 9 - will be: are any of the fuming Lib Dems really prepared to give up their cabinet seat and take a near-£70,000 pay cut to return to the backbenches? Mr Huhne?
One thing is for sure, David Cameron, unlike most of us, will have found the result of the Canadian general election on Monday absolutely fascinating. It illustrates perfectly why he has fought so hard against AV.
The Mole will keep this as brief as possible - Canadian politics are not that interesting...
Most important, Canada still uses the first-past-the-post system.
After years of minority Conservative governments, the Liberal vote collapsed and the Tories (led by Stephen Harper) finally have a clear majority after polling 40 per cent.
A resurgent Labour party - sorry, New Democrat Party - led by Jack Layton polled 30 per cent and are the official opposition for the first time.
Harper knows exactly where he stands: no more cutting deals with other parties, no more pussy-footing on Tory ideals. He has a socialist opposition in front of him and the Liberals banished to nowhereland.
Some pundits believe the Liberals and the New Democrats will have to merge if they are to supplant the Tories in the coming years. But when the Liberal leader - the former Observer journalist Michael Ignatieff - handed in his resignation on Tuesday he made it clear this was not an option in his view.
"I think the surest guarantee of a future for the Liberal Party of Canada is four years of Conservative right-wing government and four years of NDP left-wing opposition," he said. "I think after that experience Canadians will, I hope, again discover why you have a Liberal Party in the centre."
Music to David Cameron's ears - well, the first bit anyway. ·
Comments are now closed on this article