1. Some of the Labour Party was against it.
2. All of the Tory Party was against it.
3. The Yes campaign said things that weren’t entirely true, and people didn’t believe them.
4. The No campaign told outright lies, but people did believe them, which isn’t fair.
5. The Electoral Commission said things about AV that were true, but made it seem unattractive. This was also unfair, because if you can’t say something nice about a voting system, you shouldn’t say anything at all.
6. People don’t like coalitions, and they thought AV would make coalition governments more likely (which it probably would).
7. People don’t like the Lib Dems, and the No campaign said that AV would put them in power permanently. (Which, again, it probably would, but that’s not the point.)
8. People don’t like David Cameron either, and the Yes campaign didn’t say that AV would keep him out of power. (Which it wouldn’t, necessarily, but it would have been a good thing to campaign on.)
9. People don’t prefer AV to the status quo.
10. People don’t want AV.
I’ve renumbered Clark’s points and edited them down a bit, but I think I’ve got the gist.
I was particularly struck by Clark’s point 9:
the alternative vote system itself posed particular problems. Infamously dismissed by Nick Clegg as “a miserable little compromise”, it is loved by no one, with most of the yes camp hankering for reform that links a party’s tally of votes to its tally of seats, something AV fails to deliver. Few Labourites, and no Lib Dems, regard AV as an end itself. It scarcely mattered that from the reformist point of view it is unambiguously better than the system we start out with. What did matter was that the reformists could not muster the energy to market something that they did not truly believe in.
Clark stops berating the stupid British public for rejecting a kind of platonic Plea For Electoral Reform, for just long enough to acknowledge that the form it took on the physical plane was a question about an electoral system that nobody actually wants – not Ed Miliband, not Nick Clegg, not Caroline Lucas, not Nigel Farage. (Although apparently Eddie Izzard does prefer AV to PR, and I suspect Stephen Fry may do as well.) This isn’t metropolitan elitism – just well-intentioned self-delusion.