Clause 1 — Referendum on the alternative vote system

Part of Royal Commission (London) – in the House of Commons at 6:30 pm on 12th October 2010.

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Photo of Nicholas Boles Nicholas Boles Conservative, Grantham and Stamford 6:30 pm, 12th October 2010

Has my hon. Friend not just revealed the truth of his position, which is that he has constructed a very elegant, beautifully researched and fascinating argument for a position that I do not think he really holds? His real position is that he does not want a referendum at all, because he does not want AV and thinks that we might lose the referendum. I agree with him on AV-I do not want it either-but I think he lacks confidence in the first-past-the-post system and our party's ability, and that of many supporters on the Labour Benches, such as Margaret Beckett, who made a fantastic speech in support of first past the post, to win the argument. He has therefore constructed this elaborate mechanism to make an argument that he does not really buy.