Peter Hoskin

The AV scrap enters its final stage

There are, as James pointed out earlier, only five days to go until the AV referendum  — and that means both campaigns are priming their final appeals for our hearts, minds and votes. So just what will those appeals look like? Today has brought some indication. As Paul Waugh reveals over at PoliticsHome, the Yes campaign is planning to wheel Eddie Izzard — of course! — in front of the microphones. The comedian is going to take part in 16 events across the country this week. And as for the No campaign, ConservativeHome have pictures of their new poster campaign and promotional leaflet. It’s the latter that really tugs at the ol’ retinas: a shot of Nick Clegg outside No.10, his hand on David Cameron’s back, with the caption, “AV would to more hung parliaments, backroom deals and broken promises.” Agree with their argument or not, but the No team clearly still regard Clegg as their most effective asset.

Looking ahead, you do wonder how the Deputy Prime Minister is going to revivify his personal brand again, aside from that of his party. He may be the government’s best communicator and one of its sincerest reformers — but there’s no ignoring the public animosity towards him. The question that Lib Dem members are no doubt internalising is whether their leader is a drag on their ratings. And if there is anything that might encourage the Huhnes and the Farrons, then that persistent suspicion is it.

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