Nick Clegg has said the AV referendum is a "very rare opportunity to modernise our democracy", promising not to re-open the issue during this parliament.
Speaking to Justin Webb he said he had been "naive" to expect the AV referendum to be an issue in which politicians would take a "slightly more stand-offish stance".
Differences between the coalition partners had "come out in the wash" over the referendum, he said.
He argued that people supporting the no campaign were doing so because it was a "pretty nice arrangement" for them.
He could not understand, he said, why the Conservatives - who traditionally supported choice and competition - were resisting the change.
"The elite does not like anything which allows people a greater say in how our politics is run," he said.
Get in touch with Today via
or text us on 84844.