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Labour revives idea of polling day referenda to wrongfoot Cameron

The Observer suggests that Labour is thinking of reviving its plan to hold a referendum on voting reform on election day in a bid to wrongfoot Cameron:

"Plans to hold a referendum on changes to the voting system on the day of the next general election are being considered in Downing Street as part of a ploy to expose David Cameron as a roadblock to sweeping constitutional reform."

That may not be the end of it.  As ConservativeHome has noted before, Labour may also hold a vote on whether Britain should remain a member of the European Union.  It believes that such a vote could be presented as a way of asserting the British people's will on Lisbon but its intention would be to sow division in the Conservative Party and maximise the defection of voters from the Conservatives to UKIP.

In his Mail on Sunday column William Rees-Mogg notes the strength of UKIP and the Green Party in Norwich North.  Unlike the main parties they increased the number of votes they received (Greens from 1,252 to 3,350 and UKIP 1,122 to 4,068) and predicts they will become major features of British politics if a pure form of proportional representation was introduced:

"British politics will increasingly be influenced by the single-issue parties. It is no longer reasonable to think UKIP or the Greens are merely crankish parties, bound to fade away. The opinion polls suggest both are in the interesting situation of being single-issue parties whose issues have strong public appeal. Most voters are certainly more conscious of Green issues than they used to be a generation ago; most voters have also become increasingly critical of the European Union and the Lisbon Treaty."

Tim Montgomerie


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