Saturday, 11 September 2010

The AV Vote. Where Is The Yes Campaign?

There will, almost certainly, be a referendum on the shift to an AV system of voting next May.

You Gov already has the 'No' campaign leading and it looks increasingly likely that Labour might be putting politics over principle in the campaign.

The No campaign already seems to be organisationally strong.  They have appointed Matthew Elliott of the 'Taxpayers' Alliance' to head up the campaign; the GMB has promised a large donation; and @VoteNoToAV seems to be a strong Twitter presence.

On the flip side, the Yes campaign, which as LabourList suggested yesterday may be battling against the odds, is virtually silent.  According to Next Left, they have a steering group (with weak Labour links and not a single Tory).  They have a very basic, very beta web site here:

Vote for a Stepping Stone, eagle eye

But, other than that, the Yes campaign seems content to let the anti reform people make the running and set the agenda.  That is, to say the least, a high risk strategy.  A Yes campaign needs to be set up decisively and early, if it is to avoid the teething troubles that affect the early stages of most campaigns.

It needs to start attempting to close down arguments against and win the early battle for the public psyche. It needs to consider early polling and where to focus its message.  It needs to make extensive, ambitious and innovative use of social media.  As far as I am aware, the 'Yes' campaign is doing none of those things.

Campaigns may not be won nine months out from polling day but they can easily be lost through lack of organisation nine months out.  The Yes campaign needs to get organised, and quickly, if it is to stand a fighting chance next year.


  1. I hear they will release a viral ad next week. I think cash must be a bit of an issue. Also, has the system of AV been decided on? If not then they might not know what they are promoting.

  2. Very true. But the truth is, without the organisation in place early, the Yes campaign might struggle to get competitive. Particularly if that organisation isn't genuinely cross party.

  3. Also, doing a quick Facebook search brings up plenty No To AV groups, but no real pro AV organisation on the most populated social network


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