The overnight YouGov tracker poll gives the "No" campaign an 18% lead – the largest yet and appearing to confirm the Peter Kellner view that voters tend to back the status quo during referenda campaign unless there is overwhelming reason to change.
The increasingly desperate 'Yes' campaign have this morning launched this message:
It was the tactic heralded by Lord Mandelson, yesterday, in an interview with The Independent.
Quoted in The Daily Mail, former Foreign Secretary and Labour MP Margaret Beckett disowned the campaign. Changing the electoral system for ever and for the worse, she said, in order to deliver a ‘short-term kick’ to Mr Cameron was ‘exactly wrong’.
The Yes2AV campaign is further undermined by news that a majority of Labour MPs now back the 'No' campaign. David Blunkett tells The Times (£) that "the “no” campaign had the support of four out of five Labour councillors, thousands of party activists and 131 MPs, a majority of Mr Miliband’s 258-strong parliamentary party." If any smile is going to disappear because of this news then look towards the faces of Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband.
Meanwhile Nick Clegg – who has taken a higher profile role in the 'Yes' campaign than expected – yesterday joined with Labour Yes campaigners to rule out the use of counting machines. The alleged £130 million cost of such machines to count AV ballot papers has been the most controversial claim made by the No2AV campaign.