Referendum date will not be shifted to appease Tory rebels – but the rebellion IS a cause for concern

My source close to the Deputy PM’s Office (the source which enabled me to the one who broke the news nationally of the referendum date: http://www.leftfootforward.org/2010/07/av-referendum-to-be-announced-next-week-held-in-may/ ) indicates that they (Clegg – and Cameron) will be absolutely adamant [and quite right too] about not switching the referendum date; but that they are slightly nervous about the Tory backbench revolt. For, if it escalated, it could be a serious challenge to Cameron’s authority. The danger that they are aware of is if the Tory rebels simply link up directly with the newly-announced [and badly opportunist] Labour obstructionist position against the legislation (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/labour/7913728/Labour-MPs-to-join-Tory-rebellion-over-voting-reform.html & http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/jul/27/shadow-cabinet-to-oppose-voting-reform-bill?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter).
Sunder Katwala has just said “I hope LibDems who want to win AV referendum realise ability to mobilise Labour votes looks decisive. Time to build some bridges …” http://www.nextleft.org/2010/07/labour-should-support-av-while-opposing.html . Fair enough; but Labour needs to realise how bad it will look, if it opposes AV, which was after all a manifesto commitment!!

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