Last night the House of Lords held a vote which could mean that next year’s referendum on voting reform for Westminster elections might not take place on the same day as the Assembly election after all. Details here, here and here.
The upshot is the legislation now allows the AV vote to be held any time up to next October.
Of course there’s every chance the UK government will be able to overturn the Lords ruling when the legislation returns to the commons.
But Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards for one is hoping that it sends an important message. He said:
“The Governments of the devolved legislatures have requested a change of date in the interest of democracy – and now the Upper House have supported those calls.
“The UK Government should now urgently re-think its plans and come forward with alternative proposals and a different date for the AV referendum so that the bill can move forward with a greater degree of political consensus when it returns to the House of Commons.”
UPDATE 11.33 GMT 07 December 2010:
I’ve just asked the First Minister for his response to last night’s vote. He said:
“Our view has always been that it’s better to have the AV referendum on a different date to our elections. That view hasn’t changed.”