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Vote Yes to AV or No More Labour Governments

ElectionOracle / UK Politics May 03, 2011 - 09:50 AM GMT

By: Submissions


Labour has 48 hours to wake up and vote Yes to AV warns influential centre-left campaign group
Without a yes vote in Thursday’s referendum Gordon Brown’s administration could be the last Labour government ever according to the influential centre-left pressure group Compass.

At least three factors could combine, without a Yes vote on Thursday, to lock Labour out of power for good. Electoral boundary changes without the offsetting negative impact that AV has on Tory hopes, the rise of the SNP in Scotland and changes to party funding rules that disadvantage Labour, could see the last hope of a Labour government.

Against the odds and expectations Labour won 258 seats at the last election. Boundary changes are expected to ensure that of the 65 seats to go around 45 would be Labour. In Scotland 41 of the current 59 seats are Labour held. With the SNP riding high in the polls the chances of a Scottish breakaway at some stage are stronger than ever. Even without a vote on independence Labour are likely to lose out in Westminster elections to the SNP in the future.

Taking into account any double counting Labour could lose up to 70 seats before the Conservatives try to put a limit on union donations to the parties of around £50,000. Labour already has serious financial problems and needs the unions to be able to fund the next election. Against a Tory government that will want to be cutting taxes and not services in four years time Labour could be fighting from a position not from 258 seats but in effect from less than 200 to get past the new 300 seat wining line. Such an electoral feat is all but impossible.

A yes vote on AV gives Labour a fighting chance. If AV had been used in the last election the Tories would have won 23 less seats according the British Electoral Study. As important as the seats gain, is the creation of a progressive alliance that AV offers. Throughout this campaign Labour Shadow Cabinet members have shared platforms with leading Liberal Democrats and Greens. As John Denham, Chris Huhne and Caroline Lucas said at the weekend “you cannot build a fair society on an unfair politics”.

Neal Lawson Chair of Compass said today: “Labour has just 48 hours to wake up. This is a campaign in which every Tory is voting No and almost every penny of the No campaign comes from Tory supporters. The Tories know a Yes vote gives Labour a lifeline. The outcome of the referendum is in Labour hands. If Labour members and supporters want to see a Labour government again, then voting Yes on Thursday is essential.”

For further information contact Neal Lawson on 07976 292522
- Compass is the UK's most influential political pressure group with over 40,000 members and supporters across the UK. Together we campaign for a more democratic, equal and sustainable society. See for more details.
- Neal Lawson is on the Board of the Yes campaign

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