It looks like the Lib Dems are gearing up for perhaps the stupidest piece of political foot-shootery ever carried out by human beings. The AV referendum bill is going to be voted on next week and it seems likely that many Labour backbenchers will refuse to back it. It it does not pass because of lack of Lib Dem support then it will have been the single most selfless (and astonishingly stupid) political decision ever made. I have written previously on the benefits of the AV system:
but have now considered the polling results contained within this document: http://populuslimited.com/uploads/download_pdf-130909-The-Times-The-Times-Poll---September.pdf (pages 8&9) that indicate a massive preference for the Lib Dems as a second preference from supporters of both Labour and the Tories. I have gone through all the Liberal Democrat target seats in which we came in second, studied 2005 results (and notional results) and added 86% of Tory votes when they came in 3rd and 66% of Labour votes when they came in 3rd to the Lib Dem vote tally. Presuming minor party votes are shared equally between the Lib Dems and their competitor, and excluding the consideration that Lib Dem candidates would benefit from reduced tactical voting and increased engagement in our policies, AV would have given us about 35 extra seats, 98 in total.
This is just an estimate based on a poll and some crude (but appropriate) analysis, but it demonstrates quite clearly to me that any Lib Dem MP thinking of voting against this bill needs a good slap. Seriously people, sort yourselves out.