Clegg’s AV hopes vanish

City A.M. Reporter
THE future of the coalition government is hanging in the balance as Nick Clegg prepares himself for a certain defeat in the referendum on the alternative vote due to be announced tonight.

Voters are expected to reject change in favour of the traditional first-past-the-post system, a crushing disappointment for Clegg who had pledged electoral reform as a key plank of the coalition accord.

Former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown warned that Prime Minister David Cameron’s refusal to disassociate himself from a “regiment of lies” poured out by the no-to-AV campaign would have long-term consequences for the coalition, including the terms on which it eventually ends.

“So far the coalition has been lubricated by a large element of goodwill and trust. It is not any longer,” he told the Guardian.