After a long and twadry campaign on both sides where partisan politics and persoanlities took centre stage, the UK electorate has rejected the Alternative Vote (AV) system by a thumping majority of 67.9% to 32.1%. The final vote tallied at 6,152,607 voted Yes to the Alternative Vote, while 13,013,123 voted No, according to the official Electoral Commission announcement. Only 10 areas in the UK including Islington, Camden, Hackney and Lambeth in London voted for the change to AV.
This hurts the Liberal Democrats and Nick Clegg – the referendum was the prize for joinining a coalition that would have to make tough decisions, hoping a Yes vote would change the political alignment of the country. Instead, they got a crushing defeat and at the hands of the Prime Minister David Cameron. Mr. Cameron joined the campaign barely a month ago and in one month the polls went from favouring Yes to a massive win for the NO campaign.
Mr. Clegg accepted the verdict of the voters with grace and reaffirmed his commitment to the coalition. So did the Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander, however some Liberal Democrat Ministers such as the Energy Secretary Chris Huhne and Business Secretary Vince Cable are on the attack mode against the Tories.
“I wish I could say this was a photo finish but it isn’t, the result is very clear. I’m a passionate supporter of political reform but when the answer is as clear as this, you have got to accept it.” the Deputy Prime Minister said. “”This is a bitter blow for all those people, like me, who believe in the need for political reform.”
He also accepted that voters have punished Liberal Democrats in the polls around the country – but he pledged to learn lessons and move on.