These are the 'three c's' the NO team used as revealed by Tim Montgomerie at Conservative Home in a good article I read in the Daily Mail of all places.
Basically Tim says YES2AV could have won this campaign if they had explained why AV was needed and how it works in simple terms - they failed on both counts and I agree this is why we lost. Also, without the bulk of the Labour party onside and without a coherent strategy it seems, they had no chance. Those from the Labour party who opposed AV have been disgraceful and they have made their leader Ed Miliband look weak and foolish (maybe he is).
The results for the Green party here in Brighton and Hove have cheered me up a bit. But frankly I am very disappointed. To lose 68% to 32% is a pretty devastating defeat. To lose the AV vote in Brighton and Hove albeit a close 49.9% to 50.1% is even more disappointing.
Well at least it wasn't full blooded PR was that was tested, cos I think the weak YES campaign would have lost that as well, maybe not by so large a margin.
Thinking about it, the overiding lesson is don't have a referendum on things people cannot grasp in less than 5 seconds.
Imagine if there had been a referendum on the NHS before it was instituted, or on gay rights or loads of other things that once implemented people overwhelmingly support. When people see just the price and not the benefits they plump for the status quo it seems, especially when their newspaper tells them to.
Just to finish, I agreed with Clegg that the early referendum was the right idea, but I think in hindsight, they should have tried to get STV for local government first, so people could see how it works before they went for a referendum.
As it is, the ERS and the LIb Dems find their preferred preferential form of PR looking very shaky. Surely only open-list PR could now be put forward and probably not for at least 10 years, if ever.