The headline on the Guardian’s website says it all as the news on the latest referendum poll shows that “support for AV is collapsing”. It suggests that the battle for the Alternative Vote might have been lost by Nick Clegg and the Yes to Fairer Votes campaign on what has been a busy campaigning day for both sides.
Ed Milliband appeared alongside coalition minister Vince Cable while in the No camp the Prime Minister, David Cameron, shared a platform with former Labour defence minister John Reid. Surely never have two unlikely souls stood together.
Today was also the day that the Evening Standard chose to declare. It came out against AV in an editorial arguing why Londoners should say no to AV.
The new Guardian/ICM poll gives the No To AV campaign a whopping 16-point lead. This is compared with a two-point lead for the Yes campaign in the equivalent Guardian/ICM poll carried out in February. Of those who plan to vote (and have made up their minds) 0nly 42% say they will vote yes and 58% say they will vote no.
The results, as the Guardian points out, make depressing reading for the Yes campaign and for Clegg in particular who will finish off his first year in power in a calamitous fashion.
There seems little chance of the Yes campaign turning things around. While there are 23% who say they still have not made up their minds this group also includes people who may not turn out to vote at all.