No campaign victorious on AV
The ‘No’ campaign has won the AV referendum with 69% of the votes. Inner London, Cambridge and Glasgow have provided some consolation for the 'Yes' campaign, with voters there backing electoral reform.
The overall turnout for the referendum was 42%, with the highest turnout in Scotland at 50.7% and the lowest in London at 35.4%.
Nick Clegg admitted that the rejection of the Alternative Vote was “a bitter blow”, but said the Liberal Democrats would “move on”. Chris Huhne said earlier that there is "extraordinary anger" about the Conservative behaviour in the 'No' campaign "from top to bottom of the Liberal Democrats", and added that the way the campaign has been conducted will "change the style" of the Coalition.
Ed Miliband also said he was disappointed by the result: “I’m disappointed that we lost the Alternative Vote referendum, but I think the people have spoken very clearly on this issue, and it’s a verdict that I accept."
Earlier David Cameron said there will be “no celebrating, no congratulations” if the British public rejects AV. “Whether [the result] is a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’ there will be no celebrating, there will be no congratulations, the issue will be settled and we can get on with the vital work we’re doing as a Coalition, governing in the national interest."
Lord Ashdown has accused the Prime Minister of a “breach of faith” following the tactics used by the 'No' team. He warned that the "goodwill and trust" seen in the past year had now evaporated and that he now expected the Coalition to be a "transactional" relationship. William Hague this morning denied there had been a breach of faith, saying that the referendum was held as planned in the Coalition agreement.
Meanwhile, Lib Dem Deputy Leader Simon Hughes has suggested that his party will demand concessions on issues like immigration and the NHS following the Conservatives' conduct in the AV race.