Published on 23 Nov 2010

William names the day – and upsets the Lib Dems

Not the date all the Lib Dems wanted.

I hear that some Lib Dem senior ministers have been grumbling around Whitehall that William and Kate naming the day as 29 April and making it a Bank Holiday might distract attention from their cherished Coalition concession, the 5 May referendum on the Alternative Vote (AV).

Some senior Lib Dems felt that their main hope of winning the battle was a late focus on the issue that no-one had wanted to look at before.

Of course, they could end up basking in the after-glow of a refreshed and rejuvenated population that has been street-partying like crazy.

Or it may be that not many people were ever going to focus on the issue and the Royal Wedding changed nothing.

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5 reader comments

  1. Philip Edwards says:


    The LibDems have signed their suicide note by joining the Tories.

    They lied to the young (when they secretly decided pre-election to abandon their public position on student fees and then feigned surprise) and they lied to the old on virtually everything.

    Their demise is welcome. “William and Kate” will be the least of it.

  2. Stuart says:

    The referendum is going to be a complete joke anyway. With everybody’s experience over the student fees issue, can you imagine what happens when the explain to voters what it all means.

    As the referendum will be a vote on the principle and, if passed the detailed laws/changes will then be drawn-up and debated by and voted on by the Commons and Lords. so pre-referendum Lib Dems explain “it means …” and after the referendum passes and the details are drawn-up (by Clegg ?) and it turns out to be completely different and Clegg then tells us “what I really meant to tell you was … but you would never have voted for me on that basis … sorry suckers”.

    Whio will believe anything the Lib Dems say – so the referendum has been killed by their action (or lack of action) on student fees – so the date of the Royal Wedding makes no difference (might even help the Lib Dems by stopping people thinking about them too much).

    1. Saltaire Sam says:

      Dead right. I was strongly in favour of PR but didn’t realise that coalistion government was going to be installed as ‘forget what we said before the election, the only manifesto that counts is the one we agreed between ourselves since and on which you haven’t voted.’

      As well as student fees, we now have Michael Gove making the most radical changes to secondary education, none of which was in the tory manifesto, and we have a health service heading towards privatisation after we were assured there would be no more top down changes.

      AV would almost certainly mean the lib dems in government forever in some coalition or other and apart from Clegg, St Vince and their mates, I’m not sure anyone wants that. Their only hope of regaining any credibility is to bring back Charlie Kennedy.

  3. Old Doderer says:

    * AV is obscure. Only three countries in the world use AV for their national elections: Fiji, Australia, and Papua New Guinea. In Fiji, they’re about to get rid of it. In Australia, 6 out of 10 voters want to return to the British system.

    * AV is unfair. Supporters of fringe parties can end up having their vote counted five or six times – and potentially decide the outcome of the election – while people who backed the mainstream candidates only get one vote.

    * AV is unwanted. Even the Yes campaigners don’t really want AV. Before the general election, the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg described AV as ‘a miserable little compromise’. Another senior Lib Dem, Chris Huhne, said that ‘it does not give voters real power’.

    * AV in expensive. Holding the referendum is going to cost the country £90 million, and AV itself would make elections more expensive. Counting the votes would take much longer, either by hand or on costly new electronic counting machines – and local taxpayers would end up footing the bill.

  4. Old Doderer says:

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