Could the Lib Dems win on AV and still walk away?

Second-guessing the political impact of an AV referendum has become popular sport after news of the 2011 vote leaked late last week. Broadly, the consensus has it that a successful "Yes" vote is the result more likely to keep the Lib-Dem/Tory coalition together beyond 5 May next year.

Neither outcome is risk-free for David Cameron, and a rump of Tory backbenchers (and some silent frontbenchers) will be disappointed should the British public back the Alternative Vote. But will they really be willing to put the coalition in jeopardy over it? Unlikely, on this issue alone.

But how about the Lib Dems choosing to walk away even if they win the day? That idea was floated this morning by Peter Oborne in the Daily Mail.

Oborne writes:

This major piece of constitutional reform having been achieved, it would give those Lib Dems whose hearts have never been in the coalition (such as Charles Kennedy and Menzies Campbell) a ready excuse to ditch David Cameron in the belief that, in a pact with Labour, they could win an election.

Surely, that's a scenario too far. Isn't it?

Jon Bernstein, former deputy editor of New Statesman, is a digital strategist and editor. He tweets @Jon_Bernstein. 

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Sarah Champion wants to un-resign and join Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet again

The MP is understood to have emailed asking for her job back. 

Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham, is to rejoin the shadow cabinet less than a month after her dramatic resignation. 

On 28 June, in the aftermath of Brexit, she tweeted: "I have just stepped down from my shadow minister job, but not my responsibilities to my constituents, party or victims of abuse."

Now, she has reportedly emailed Jeremy Corbyn's team to request an un-resignation from her position as shadow minister for preventing abuse. 

According to the Guido Fawkes blog, she wrote: "I would like to formally retract my resignation and ask to be reinstated to my role as Shadow Home Office minister for preventing abuse and domestic violence with immediate effect."

Unsurprisingly, perhaps, given their staffing issues on the shadow cabinet, the Corbyn team is understood to be welcoming her back. 

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has repeatedly urged ex-shadow cabinet MPs to come back. On 1 July he said: "Wouldn't it be better if people came back and worked with us?"

And on Sunday, he alarmed weekend TV viewers by turning straight to camera and telling the nation: "We've got to stop this now."