Thursday, May 06, 2010

Five (or six) elections predictions.....

I must be mad, but I'm going to offer up some predictions of what is going to happen tonight. All of them will no doubt be wrong, but such is the joy of provide some commentary, so here goes.

1: There are going to be some shock results for the Tories and Lib Dems tonight. What I mean here are gains from Labour where the candidate ends up in Westminster saying "but this wasn't meant to happen!"

Party political hacks will know the sort of people I am talking about here. The "paper candidates" who are expecting to come third or a long way off second but have not really planned for life in Parliament "coming through the middle". It's entirely possible that we will see slate voting of the anti-Labour variety that splits the traditional Labour vote leaving the way clear for the unexpected finish.

2: Following on from (1), I think we can expect some knife-edge recounts and in the end we're going to have a hell of a lot more marginal constituencies by Friday. This is a good thing if First-Past-The-Post remains as the electoral system - because everyone will have to fight to survive. Less safe seats is a big-plus.

3: Big name are going to fall tonight. Former Cabinet ministers definitely, sitting Cabinet ministers, probably. There will be more than one "Portillo Moment" but, and this is crucial, it will not necessarily be representative of a uniform national swing. If Ed Balls goes, it won't follow that all targets below that on the list will fall too.

4: The polls will once again be shown to overstate Labour support and understate Tory support at the popular vote level.

5: The Labour leadership campaign will start the moment someone big falls. Watch out for the first admission by a senior Labour person that they've lost and then watch it snowball.

What's that? You want to know who I think will win the whole thing? OK, I'll risk it.

I think that the Tories are going to edge it with a really slim majority that may well mean the rule that political opponents are in front of you but your political enemies are behind you is more prevalent than it has been for over a decade. Expect another election within 12 months.

Now that I've said that they'll probably be a landslide!

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