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NO to AV
The NO to AV logo
Motto"Just Say No To The Alternative Vote"
Legal statusCampaign
PurposeTo keep the United Kingdom's voting system as it is
Region served
United Kingdom
Official language
Margaret Beckett
WebsiteNo to AV (Archived)

NOtoAV was a political campaign in the United Kingdom whose purpose was to persuade the public to vote against the Alternative Vote (AV) in the referendum on 5 May 2011. NOtoAV was successful in maintaining the current voting system[1] having received 67.9% of votes cast.[2]

Party positions

Parties in the House of Commons


Individuals supporting NOtoAV

Campaign funding

In May 2011, three days before the referendum vote, The Guardian newspaper released an analysis of the accounts of donations to the campaign, showing that it been funded almost exclusively by Conservative Party donors. 42 of the 53 named donors to the NoToAV campaign were Conservative Party donors, having given between them £18.4 million to the Conservative Party since 2001.[17] Nine were not identifiable from official donor records, another source was identified as official funding from the Electoral Commission, and one was a Labour Party donor, the GMB union.[17] Among the donors to and prominent members of the Conservative Party were seven Conservative peers, including Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover, who had donated nearly £3m to the Conservative Party since 2005.[17] Jonathan Wood, who was the biggest shareholder in Northern Rock bank when it collapsed in 2007 and later tried to sue the then Labour government over its handling of the bank's nationalization, and Lord Fink, the Conservative Party's co-treasurer, British fund manager and former CEO and deputy chairman of the Man Group plc, have both donated £75,000 between them to the campaign in 2011.[17] Stockbroking and corporate finance group Shore Capital donated £25,000, hedge fund Odey Asset Management Group, founded by Crispin Odey in 1991, donated £20,000; Lord Wolfson, chairman of the clothing chain Next plc gave £25,000; John Nash, co-founder of private equity firm Sovereign Capital and chairman of the healthcare company Care UK, donated £25,000.[17] The figures obtained by the Guardian do not include donations received by the NoToAV campaign prior to the passing of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011 by Parliament in February 2011.[17]

Campaign criticism

The NotoAV campaign attracted criticism in the run up to the referendum, due to its repeated claims that implementing AV would be expensive, due to the necessity of installing electronic voting machines. The claim was denied, both by the opposing campaign and the Electoral Commission and Political Studies Association.[18] In April 2011, cabinet minister Chris Huhne threatened legal action over alleged untruths disseminated by Conservatives opposed to the alternative vote system.[19] On the day of the referendum, it was reported in the New Statesman that David Blunkett had admitted that the claim that introducing the AV system would be more expensive had been exaggerated.[20]

See also


  1. ^ "Vote 2011: UK rejects alternative vote". BBC News. 7 May 2011.
  2. ^ "At present, the UK uses the 'first past the post' system to elect MPs to the House of Commons. Should the 'alternative vote' system be used instead?". Electoral Commission. 5 May 2011. Archived from the original on 21 November 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  3. ^ "Campaigns | No to AV". Conservative Party. Archived from the original on 16 April 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  4. ^ a b Hélène Mulholland; Patrick Wintour (16 March 2011). "Ed Miliband faces AV battle as MPs and peers back No vote". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  5. ^ Labour NOtoAV. "Labour MPs and Peers say NO to AV". Labour No2AV. Archived from the original on 14 December 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Labour Ex-Ministers To Fight Voting Reform". Sky News. 26 November 2010. Archived from the original on 12 July 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  7. ^ a b c "NI parties divided over Alternative Vote referendum". BBC News. 13 April 2011.
  8. ^ a b "AV referendum: Where parties stand". BBC News. 26 April 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  9. ^ "Historians: AV Would 'Undermine Democracy'". Sky News. Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
  10. ^ "Historians against AV". Conservatives Party. 11 March 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  11. ^ "Ann Widdecombe says 'NO' to AV". Official NO2AV. 11 April 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2011 – via YouTube.
  12. ^ "David Owen: I support a PR system, but I will be voting 'no' in the AV referendum". The Independent. 13 March 2011.
  13. ^ Mulholland, Helene (11 March 2011). "Lord Owen backs group opposed to AV". The Guardian.
  14. ^ "Robert Winston at the launch of the No to AV campaign - video". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. 15 February 2011.
  15. ^ "More senior Labour figures to vote NO to AV". NoToAV. Archived from the original on 26 April 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
  16. ^ a b c "AV: The 'No Campaign' in quotes". Daily Telegraph. 4 May 2011. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  17. ^ a b c d e f Curtis, Polly; Kollewe, Julia (2 May 2011). "No to AV campaign neutrality under spotlight over Tory party funding". The Guardian.
  18. ^ "TheAlternativeVoteBriefingPaper" (PDF). Political Studies Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 March 2011. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
  19. ^ "AV campaign rows causing coalition conflict, says Huhne". BBC News. 24 April 2011.
  20. ^ ""No campaign used made-up figures", says David Blunkett". New Statesman. 5 May 2001.
This page was last edited on 7 January 2021, at 19:12
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