Clause 1 — Referendum on the alternative vote system

Part of Royal Commission (London) – in the House of Commons at 6:45 pm on 12th October 2010.

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Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice 6:45 pm, 12th October 2010

Another explanation for combining the referendum with the elections on 5 May is that it would save costs, and that justification is persuasive. However, there is a problem with that argument as well. The great reformer, the Deputy Prime Minister, would sound a little more convincing on that issue if he had demonstrated some consistency in the past. Last year, when there was a clamour from electoral reformists for a referendum on AV to be held on the same day as the general election, he was passionately opposed to it. The same money that the coalition Government are keen to save next May could have been saved this May, had the referendum been held on the same day as the general election, which would have meant a potential turnout of not 84% but 100%.