Last night’s debate in the Commons on the Alternative Vote had a rather amusing moment.
Mr Grieve: I am truly sorry to see the Secretary of State being obliged to be associated with this guff.
The best starting point would be for the Secretary of State to take a short absence from the Chamber to look at the excellent blogsite run by his son, Will Straw, on which there has been extensive polling in left-of-centre areas of radicalism about these proposals. No more than 20 per cent, he has concluded, support the alternative vote proposed by the Government and 29 per cent want no referendum at all.
Perhaps we should not be surprised to learn, particularly from a left-of-centre blog, that the vast majority of the remainder want such disparate things that it is impossible to assess what they desire. I think that the Secretary of State would have done rather well to have considered that blog first.
Will Straw has emailed to say that Grieve “selectively” cited the LFF research, and ignored the key finding of the poll: 63 per cent of voters support a referendum on electoral reform. “We’d have preferred an election-day referendum with a wider range of options, but we’ll take the AV vote as a first step,” says Straw.