Helping the Tories deliver...

If Benedict Brogan's report on the offer to Tory MPs of a free vote in parliament on an Electoral Reform referendum is true then that is a neat piece of work done by the joint negotiation teams.

Not only does the Lib Dem team have to ensure that the Liberal Democrats get what they want in return for a formal coalition with the Conservatives (I might have to stop calling them the Tories, I fear, as to me at least, it's a pejorative term) but they have to do as much as they can to help the Conservatives deliver a deal that is palatable to their own party.

At first glance, the parliamentary maths suggests that this is a bit of a pig in a poke, as Tories and pro FPTP Labour MPs could vote down any legislation to run a referendum but that ignores the payroll vote. 

This of course would only work for the LIb Dems if Cameron made government jobs dependant on support for a referendum - allowing those Tory MPs who feel sooo strongly about PR to follow their conscience whilst allowing other Tory MPs to follow their career.

It would also give groups such a Power2010 to ramp up the campaign and ensure a national conversation.  They already have the momentum as I don't see any keep FPTP demonstrations going on!


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