AV campaign faces defeat

THE CAMPAIGN to swap Britain’s first past the post electoral system for the alternative vote (AV) appeared to be heading for a crushing defeat last night.

Almost 70 per cent of voters said they planned to vote against a change to AV in today’s referendum, according to an ICM poll for the Guardian.

Support for AV was shown to have crumbled to just 32 per cent, handing the “No to AV” campaign a 36 point lead.

A YouGov poll for the Sun also showed that the majority of voters do not want to scrap Britain’s first past the post electoral system. It found 60 per cent of voters were against a change, with just 40 per cent in favour.

The result of today’s poll, which is not expected until tomorrow, could prove to be a significant blow for Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats.

Securing the referendum to introduce AV was seen as a central plank of his party’s coalition agreement with David Cameron’s Conservatives.

Meanwhile, several polls indicated that Labour could face defeat in Scotland. Alex Salmond’s Scottish National Party now looks likely to secure a victory, although appeared to be struggling to secure enough votes to push through its flagship independence referendum.