Chris Gilson takes a look at the week in political blogging
AV referendum and elections
Jon Bernstein at The Staggers examines party splits over AV, while Dr Prateek Buch, guest blogging at Left Foot Forward, says that voting for AV would give more progressive influence to bear on government. ffinlo Costain at Labour Uncut thinks that the Yes campaign deserves to lose for it’s anti-politics stance. Tim Montgomerie at thetorydiary reports David Cameron’s comments that AV will be costly to adopt. Tom Watson at Labour Uncut explains why he is against PR, but pro-AV. Nan Sloane at The F-Word Blog investigates if AV makes a difference to the representation of women.
Dominic Browne at Left Foot Forward says that ‘Tory money owns’ the No campaign. Guido Fawkes has a short comment on Chris Huhne’s challenges to David Cameron in Cabinet over the AV campaign, later, Jon Bernstein at The Staggers has the alleged ‘bust-up’ in full. Paul Boateng at Next Left says that if Chris Huhne wants to reunite the left, then he should quite the Cabinet. The FT’s Westminster Blog discusses Paddy Ashdown’s ‘swipe’ at David Cameron over the state of the coalition.
As early as Tuesday Labout Uncut’s Dan Hodges calls the referendum lost for the Yes campaign, and the next day, Anthony Wells at ukpollingreport has the No campaign on a 32 per cent lead in the polls over the Yes campaign. Tim Montgomerie at thetorydiary says that the Liberal Democrat dream of electoral reform may well now be dead for a generation.
Anthony Wells at ukpollingreport has some very favourable polls for the SNP in Scotland, and Mike Smithson at polticalbetting.com says that Labour’s bid for a majority in the Welsh Assembly is on a knife edge. John Lansman at Left Futures says that Scottish voters have turned away from Scottish Labour, rather than British Labour. Mike Smithson at polticalbetting.com worries about postal voting rules.
On the day of the referendum, David Blunkett admits that the No campaign’s cost figures may have been ‘made up’. As the early results come in, Next Left’s Sunder Katwala says that the biggest winners are Alex Salmond and the Scottish National Party. Labour looks in-line to gain several hundred new seats according to Will Straw at Left Foot Forward. George Eaton at The Staggers reckons that Friday is a very good day for the David Cameron with an almost certain victory for the No to AV campaign and Tory gains in council seats.
Guido Fawkes says that the Liberal Democrats have been ‘decapitated’ in the North, with heavy losses in Manchester and Sheffield. Tim Montgomerie at thetorydiary reckons that the Liberal Democrats have been punished because of the difference in their policies in the north and south. Samira Shackle at The Staggers says that the Liberal Democrat recriminations over the defeat are beginning even now.
Duncan Robinson at The Staggers has the following turnout figures for the AV referendum (as of 5pm Friday) – an average of about 42 percent:
- London: 1.86m, 35.4 per cent
- South West: 1.80m, 44.6 per cent
- Eastern: 1.84m, 43.1 per cent
- West Midlands: 1.63m, 39.8 per cent
- Yorkshire and the Humber: 1.53m, 39.9 per cent
- North West: 2.05m, 39.1 per cent
- North East: 0.76m, 38.7 per cent
- Scotland: 1.98m, 50.7 per cent
The NHS and health reform
Dominic Browne at Left Foot Forward reckons that after votes of no confidence from the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Royal College of Nursing, Andrew Lansley’s job may be at risk. Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy has the head of the BMA as stating that the government’s plans for the NHS are ‘rubbish’.
Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy casts a critical eye on Nadine Dorries MP’s proposals for abstinence-based sex education, and Lara Williams at The F-Word has some further critiques, saying that not giving this advice to boys sends the wrong message.
The economy and the banks
Dominic Browne at Left Foot Forward finds that David Cameron has reneged on his earlier pledge to protect frontline services from cuts.
Will Straw at Left Foot Forward blogs that falling economic growth may mean that the government will miss its deficit reduction target. Guest poster Richard Blogger at Liberal Conspiracy says that it appears the government’s privatisation plans are going off the rails.
Tom Hodgson at The Staggers blogs on how multiculturalism and the Big Society may be mutually compatible.
Jim Pickard at the FT’s Westminster Blog wonders if Labour’s position on Libya is changing
Thetorydiary’s Tim Montgomerie says that David Cameron has welcomed the news of Osama bin Laden’s death on Monday; Nick Robinson wonders if the news might mean a hastened withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. Robert Sharp at Liberal Conspiracy contrasts the patriotism around the royal wedding in Britain and the celebrations in the USA over the death of Osama bin Laden.