No To AV
The United Kingdom has voted to retain the first past the post (FPTP) system of voting in future general elections. The referendum which offered the Alternative Vote system in place of FPTP was part of the deal the Liberal Democrats insisted upon to become part of the coalition government following the 2010 general election.
About 69% of the voters said no to AV with just 10 of 440 voting areas in favour. Turnout was 42%.
The Liberal Democrats also had disastrous results in the local government elections.
In Scotland , where the Lib Dems traditionally hold the highlands region in the far north, they lost 12 seats and have been reduced to just five seats in the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Nationalist Party won an additional 23 seats and with 69 of the 129 seats in the Parliament will form a majority government for the first time. They have promised an independence referendum within the five year period of the parliament.
In Wales the Lib Dems did badly again, although Labour, who had hoped to win a majority, fell short taking exactly half (30) of the 60 seats in the Welsh Assembly. Plaid Cymru who had ruled in Coalition with Labour lost four seats down to 11, and are the most likely coalition partner in the new Assembly.
In England the Lib Dems had their most disastrous results. In total they lost 695 councillors, reducing their tally down to 1056 and losing control of 9 councils. They now hold just 10 councils of those contested on Thursday.
Labour, who were expected to do well, just about clawed back to their pre 2007 position. They won an additional 800 council seats bringing their tally to 2392 seats. Labour now control 57 councils, an additional 26 councils following their successes on Thursday.
The Conservatives, who are the largest partner in the ruling coalition, might well have expected to suffer badly along with the Liberal Democrats. Instead they did remarkably well. They picked up an additional 81 councillors and took their tally to 4820 councillors. They now control 157 councils, an additional four councils after Thursday’s poll.
In total, 279 councils were contested on Thursday, some in full elections and some in what is called ‘thirds’ where one third of the seats are contested. Independents and smaller parties also did badly, losing 199 council seats.