AV will not bring the government down….
In the decisive battle for Labour voters this has become something of a central question, for obvious reasons. Labour Yes tell us that a Yes vote will leave Cameron reeling and Labour No urge us to give a bloody nose to expedite the already terminal decline of Liberal Democrats and Nick Clegg. Both are right, either outcome will damage the government in the different ways they outline but neither will tell you the fundamental truth – neither result will bring the government down or really hasten its fall.
I can’t imagine Conservative right-wing sharks wanting to return to the Shires to announce they had brought this government down over AV. They don’t like AV in these True Blue heartlands but that’s beside the point; the business of bringing down a government requires precise timing and crucially a pretext which will motivate core sections of support behind it. AV isnt the issue that will destroy Cameron. What will break Cameron in the eyes of the right is his dependency on weak and vacillating Liberal Democrats who will waver in the hour of need; when people are on the streets and the fires of widespread popular revolt are lit. It is then they will make their move in the ‘national interest’.
Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats have been played for fools by Cameron but they are not so stupid as to do anything that precipitates an early meeting with the wrath of a vengeful electorate. So, if No wins they will not leave. Clegg’s days as leader are numbered; their collapse as a Party inevitable, but they are locked in a deathly embrace with the Conservatives that only the Conservative right can release them from. They will do so in time, the time will come when this force will shed itself of both the Cleggerons and Cameroons, but as I said the day of reckoning will not be on May 7th….whatever the outcome of the AV Referendum.