This series takes us from the day when the date for the AV referendum was leaked to the press (July 2, 2010), through the No and Yes! campaigns with their bottom-up passion and energy, to the emergence of the Purple People, the frantic last weeks and the resounding No vote, and finally to the reflections - many bitter and frustrated - on the management and co-ordination of a lost chance for democratic reform.
Arguably the AV referendum has killed British interest in electoral reform at least for a generation. It turned many more away from the pursuit of political reform via Westminster, accelerating an already current trend. The rejection, and the argument that the referendum terms already predicated defeat, forced the Liberal Democrats to examine their purpose and role as junior partners in the Coalition. With global perspectives, incisive analysis, historical overviews, striking personal testament and intimate reflection, the series takes the reader through the ups and downs of what was Britain's first chance since 1997 to significantly change the system by which the UK elects its representatives.
See the short series Britain after 5 May for immediate reaction to the referendum vote.