Coalition cracks show over AV vote

Cracks appeared in the coalition government yesterday over a looming referendum on voting reform as Conservative and Liberal Democrat politicians clashed publicly on the merits of adopting a new system. In a stinging attack, former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown accused Chancellor George Osborne of cheap mudslinging and scaremongering to push the “no” vote through. Last week Osborne had said it “stinks” that the main backer of the pro-AV camp was the Electoral Reform Society, whom he alleged stood to gain financially from the change.