Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Spotlight
  2. Elections
20 April 2011

Why a Yes vote depends on Labour voters

The party’s voters are split exactly 50:50 on whether to back the Alternative Vote.

By George Eaton

With just two weeks to go until the AV referendum, the chances of a Yes vote are rapidly evaporating. The latest YouGov poll gives the No campaign a 16-point lead, as an ICM poll did earlier this week. Among those who are likely to vote, 58 per cent say they will vote No and 42 per cent say they will vote Yes.

The result reflects the mendacious but effective campaign run by No to AV and Yes2AV’s failure to identify a single winning message. What’s clear from the poll is that the Yes campaign should use the time that remains to win over Labour voters. As I’ve noted before, while Lib Dem voters are overwhelmingly in favour of reform (83 per cent to 17 per cent) and Conservative voters are overwhelmingly opposed (84 per cent to 16 per cent), Labour voters are split exactly down the middle (50 per cent to 50 per cent).

YouGov’s Anthony Wells observes that if Conservative voters continue to oppose AV in these proportions, Labour voters will have to vote Yes by 2-1 in order for AV to pass. He adds: “None of our recent polling has shown Labour voters backing AV in anything like these proportions.”

If AV is rejected, we can expect many Lib Dems to accuse Ed Miliband of failing to do enough to win over his own party.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. Your new guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture each weekend - from the New Statesman. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.