Polls apart

So how accurate did my election forecast turn out to be? Well, I correctly predicted that the vote would happen yesterday, but got just about everything else wrong. I don’t feel too bad though, since even the professional pollsters were way out, and nobody was talking about a Conservative majority.

Which is of course the nightmare scenario. Things were bad enough in the last parliament, when the Tories were at least mildly restrained by the LibDems, so goodness knows how grim it will get in the next few years. Last time round there was some hope that the rightward drift of the government might provoke a left-leaning backlash, but, outside of Scotland (where the situation is more complicated than it looks at first glance), that never really materialised, and the chances of a progressive resurgence seem even slimmer today.

Oh well, back to the barricades I guess. Though I’m getting too old for all that street politics stuff…

Final prognostication

The polls in the UK General Election open in a few hours, so I guess I’d better put my political reputation on the line by predicting who will come out on top once the votes have been counted.

Here’s my forecast:

Labour will be the biggest party, though they won’t have an overall majority. They will do better than expected in Scotland though, and the SNP won’t have the influence that they have been hoping for. The LibDems will take a bit of a hammering, but won’t be wiped out. UKIP will have one or two seats at most. The Tories won’t be too far behind Labour, but they won’t be able to put together a workable coalition. Labour won’t go into coalition either, but the anti-Tory numbers will add up to make a minority government possible.

So… Our next Prime Minister will be Ed Milliband. Things will be rocky for a while, but will stabilise, and he’ll serve a full term.

A Labour government will be different from a Tory government, and the more marginalised sections of the community will probably do a bit better, so I suppose that this result would be the least bad possible. I’m not expecting any revolutionary changes – as time passes I’m getting more resigned to the idea that I won’t see such developments in my lifetime. Though if there’s one thing that history teaches it’s that you seldom see these things coming, so there’s always hope.

Anyway, check back in a couple of days, and we’ll see how right I was…