James Forsyth James Forsyth

A question of leadership

This morning’s speech on AV by Nick Clegg has prompted another round of Lib-Lab backbiting over whom is to blame for the troubles of the Yes campaign. In its leader column today, The Times (£) joins in on the Lib-Dem side, criticising Miliband for not having done more for AV. It even suggests that he’d be prepared to vote down a Yes vote in the Commons, something he specifically rules out in his interview with the paper today (£).  

Unlike Clegg, Miliband can be relaxed about the result of the AV referendum. If AV is defeated, few in the Labour party will mind and the blame won’t attach to him.

If the polls are right, David Cameron will be the only leader strengthened by the result of the referendum. An emphatic No following some vigorous Cameron campaigning would enable him to say that he took a justified risk when he offered Clegg a referendum on AV.  

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