Olly Grender predicted on Twitter on Friday that there would be a weekend full of clever hindsight about why the AV referendum was lost. In fact by Friday afternoon the Guardian had a fairly full list of 10 reasons to which I'll quickly add two more. It was held on the wrong day (the Tories got their vote out better in the English Council elections); and supporters of the 2 parties that have been in government continously for the 65 years until the last election, worked out that the status quo of FPTP was a better bet for them staying in power than changing it. Hats off to any Labour or Tory supporters who voted 'Yes' as they truly did put self interest aside for the sake of a fairer democratic system. But not enough of them did it. It wasn't small c conservatism. It was self preservation.
But while where are lots of good reasons why the battle was lost, that same Guardian article I linked to above starts off with a different point. That the electorate on Thursday sent a clear message to the politicians that actually they don't have much of a problem with the current system.
I couldn't disagree more.
I don't think politicians are held in any better regard than they were 12 months ago.
In fact, if anything, its probably got worse. The decline of support for our own party (we're no longer the good guys) combined with the dirty, dastardly underhand tricks of the 'No' camapign have probably turned even more people off national politicians.
But not national politics.
It only a month or so since half a million people marched through London alone on a political rally.
So people care about the issues. But they don't trust the politicians enough to change things.
I believe most people didn't see AV enough of a change to make a difference. Indeed we spent so much time telling people that the BNP would lose out under AV (good!) that lots of people who suport other rather more credible and worthy parties - eg. Greens - made the leap that AV wasn't going to help them much either. And people want real change and a more inclusive system that better reflects the will of the overall electorate.
Oodles of number crunching and analysis will now ensue. But I'm guessing that we'll find that people do want change. Real change. Seismic change. They just didn't think AV would be it.
The task we now have to achieve is getting in a position where we can ask a bigger question - like should we have PR? - sooner rather than later. And not let the Tories run with the line that 'Britain doesn't want change'.
It does. It just didn't want AV.