Having listened to what Gordon Brown had to say today during PMQs and then later during his statement, I am now coming to the view that what will happen is a referendum on Alternative Vote Plus to coincide with the next General Election.
My evidence is as follows m'lud:
1) During PMQs, Gordon Brown said this:
What I say about electoral reform, however, is that I have never myself supported the policy of proportional representation for a Westminster Parliament; that has always been my view. The right hon. Gentleman has to accept that the policy of proportional representation exists for the European elections, and I do not see a proposal from his party to change it at the moment. He has to accept also that the Jenkins proposals for the additional vote plus PR laid down criteria by which it would be impossible for the British National party to hold a seat—even under the PR system—in the British Parliament, unless it won a constituency seat.
Now I know that he says he does not support a proportional system at the start of his answer, but AV+ is not proportional. Not fully anyway so by careful semantics Brown could get around this. He also goes out of his way to talk up AV+ as a system that shoots down in flames, Cameron's BNP point. Why would he do this if he wasn't trying to convince us of its merits?
2) When repeatedly asked is he was going to have a referendum on this before the General Election he repeatedly said there were "no plans" for this. Of course that could easily mean that he will do it and there is absolutely nothing to stop him having it to coincide with the next General Election.
3) Alan Johnson is now Home Secretary and after the failed coup last week, one of the most powerful people in the government and heir apparent. He has said on the record that he wants an AV+ referendum to coincide with the next General Election. He may well succeed Gordon Brown in the Autumn and if the measures announced today already have momentum, turning it into a referendum will be all the easier for a new PM with probably a bit of a honeymoon period that he can exploit.
4) Brown will feel that he has to be seen to be doing something and his calculating brain will be telling him that this measure will "stuff the Tories". I don't agree that it will at all and a proportional system will be better for everybody (once we all get used to it) but that won't be how Brown will see it, he will be looking at this like he does with everything from a partisan perspective.
So, that's what I reckon will happen. Of course my track record in predictions doesn't appear to have been great of late but I think I might just be on the money here...
UPDATE: I should probably just clarify that this is what I reckon will happen, not what I think should. I want Single Transferable Vote which is the proportional system that I think is by far the best one.