Borderers’ emphatic no to AV

ON WHAT turned out to be the blackest of Fridays for the Lib Dems, voters across the Borders offered no consolation to the party’s national leader, Nick Clegg, and roundly rejected a change in the way MPs are elected to Westminster.

Across the UK, the referendum on the introduction of an alternative vote (AV) system produced a clear result with 13,013,123 voting no and 6,152,607 backing the change. That 70 per cent rejection was based on a turnout of 42 per cent.

The referendum turnout in the two Scottish parliamentary constituences in the Borders was considerably higher, but the result was the same.

In Ettrick Roxburgh and Berwick, 28,555 voters, or 53.2 per cent, took part in the referendum with 19,796 voting no and 8,775 voting yes.

The proportional difference was less marked in Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, but the outcome was just as emphatic. Of the 31,510 voters, or 55.34 per cent, who took part, 19,070 backed the status quo with 12,440 expressing preference for change.