The Conservatives agreed to a referendum being held as part of the coalition deal with the Liberal Democrats. But most Tory MPs, including Prime Minister David Cameron, are campaigning against any change. They believe first-past-the-post is a tried and tested system which generally provides stable government and maintains the direct link between an MP and their constituency. During the 2010 general election campaign, many Tories warned changes to the electoral system could lead to permanent coalitions. More recently, it has been suggested that some Tory MPs are "relaxed" about the possibility of losing the referendum, thinking it would not damage their chances of winning a majority in future .But most Conservative activists in the country are thought to be strongly opposed to any change.
Labour leader Ed Miliband is supporting the Yes campaign for changing the electoral system, believing it is fairer than the current situation and good for democracy and accountability. Other senior figures such as Alan Johnson also support AV, but the party as a whole is divided on the issue, with more than 100 Labour MPs saying they oppose such a change. Several current shadow cabinet members, including John Healey and Caroline Flint, as well former ministers such as David Blunkett, Lord Prescott and Margaret Beckett, are actively campaigning against AV. Gordon Brown offered the Lib Dems a referendum on voting reform as part of their own coalition negotiations after May's election. The party flirted with voting reform as an issue before coming to power in 1997, asking the late Lord Jenkins to head a review into the subject. But his conclusions in 1998 were largely ignored and critics say Labour only returned to the issue when the party…