Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Bob Worcester on the Royal Wedding and Yes2AV

Posted by jonathanfryer on Thursday, 28th April, 2011

Over the past four decades Sir Robert Worcester has established himself as the doyen of opinion pollsters in the United Kingdom. Though Kansas-born he took on British citizenship and lives happily in Kent, of whose University he is Chancellor. This lunchtime he was the guest speaker at the Kettner’s Lunch at the National Liberal Club, regaling us with the latest poll findings around the royal wedding. Only just over half of the UK population said they were very interested or fairly interested in the subject, yet fewer than 20 percent would like to see an end to the monarchy. Of much more concern to the NLC audience, however, was Bob’s take on the AV referendum. He strongly criticised the weak literature put out by the Yes campaign and said that current polls point to a victory for the No2AV. However, there is still a week to go and much may depend on the turnout in areas such as London and Scotland, where there seems to be more support for Yes2AV. Whatever the outcome of the referendum, he believes that there will be an almighty battle ahead when the government tries to reform the House of Lords, not only introducing STV as an election method but also slashing the total number of peers to around 300, who would be eligible for a single 15-year-term only. In the meantime, Bob has another book coming out shortly, co-authored with Roger Mortimore, Paul Baines and Mark Gill called Explaining Cameron’s Coalition — an analysis of the May 2010 general election and how the Lib-Con Coalition came about. The volume will be published by Biteback on 11 May — the first anniversary of the Coalition’s formation.

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