Thursday, May 06, 2010

Twenty Election Night Predictions

Have you noticed how virtually none of our highly paid political columnists or pundits have been brave enough to make any predictions about this election? Cowards, the lot of them. It's easy to understand why, because frankly no one knows what will happen over the next 36 hours. But those of us who make at least part of our living by punditry owe it to our readers to share our views. Even if it proves dreadfully embarrassing afterwards. Here goes...

1. I stick by my January prediction of a Tory majority of 12.
2. Turnout will be 68-70%
3. The LibDems will get around 80 seats.
4. Vote share will be C 38, Lab 28, Lib 26
5. BBC/ITN/Sky Exit poll will predict a hung parliament - and be proved wrong.
6. John Bercow will win by a mile.
7. The SNP will get only 7 seats.
8. Labour chief whip Nick Brown is defeated by the LibDems.
9. John Denham loses his Southampton seat.
10. Jon Cruddas will be ousted in Dagenham & Rainham by Simon Jones.
11. Ed Balls will hang on.
12. John Reid will be the first senior Labour figure to turn on Gordon Brown - guess around 3am.
13. The Conservatives will win more than a dozen seats in Wales.
14. Esther Rantzen will be humiliated in Luton South.
15. Oliver Letwin will squeak through and hang on to his seat.
16. David Cameron will claim victory between 7 and 8am.
17. The Conservatives will win between 1 and 4 seats in Scotland.
18. Gordon Brown will resign as Labour leader by the end of Friday.
19. Nick Clegg will declare at between 3am and 4am that the results so far prove the need for electoral reform.
20. David Cameron will announce his first cabinet appointments on Friday evening and spring at least one major surprise.

If I get half of these right, I'll be surprised...

53 comments:

DespairingLiberal said...

Looks like you are getting at least some of your extra seats for the Tories (over and above the run of the opinion polls) from Scotland and Others. I doubt this will happen - disaffected Scottish voters will defect either to the SNP or to LibDem.

Some of your other predictions, like Ed Balls staying on and poor Esther being humiliated are hardly a stretch. Only idiots think that a Labour seat as solid as silly Eddie's is going to get returfed.

I wouldn't put money on Iain's forecast. Overwhelmingly likely is some variation on a hung-parliament.

Sunder Katwala said...

I suspect more than half of those may be right. Not Southampton though, I hope.

Iain Dale said...

Again you render yourself a complete joke.

"Looks like you are getting at least some of your extra seats for the Tories (over and above the run of the opinion polls) from Scotland"

I predicted 1-4 seats for the Tories in Scotland. Can you not read or does your prejudice win every time?

Chris said...

Guido has a story about Farage's plane crashing - though he is said to be OK. Could this have an impact on your Buckingham prediction?

Tim Hedges said...

Certainly bang on with No.19

startledcod said...

Here's the 10 predictions we don't mind you getting wrong.

3, 5, 6, 7, 11, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20.

Oh to be awake/alive when Blinky concedes. Would probably match Peter Crouch's goal last night for pure joy.

albertmbankment said...

What's gold and doesn't work on Friday?

Gordon Brown's door key

Alan Douglas said...

Almost time to appoint you Saint Iain. You will be half right, but which half. Just like Saint Vince.

Alan Douglas

Straight with you Nick? said...

Strip away the beauty contest and all the TV razzmatazz and look at the cold facts!
Few people, outside of dyed in the wool 'New Labour' supporters want another five years of Brown, Mandelson, New Labour, whatever! Even Old Labour supporters the traditional core vote of Labour have been told in no uncertain terms that they and their opinions don’t count. I refer you to the despicable way Mrs Gillian Duffy was treated by Gordon Brown, and traditionally loyal voters such as Gillian have no stomach for an additional term of abandonment and neglect by the New Labour pseudo Tories.
I predict that the LibDems will do well off Labour, less so from the Tories.

Chris said...

Re 11 on Balls - if you want to keep the dream alive read this in the Mail:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/election/article-1272498/ELECTION-2010-Could-good-ship-Ed-Balls-sunk-class-torpedo.html

Like Iain I'm afraid he'll hang on but sounds like Calvert has done a good job on the ground as well as online.

cabalamat said...

I predict there will be serious and credible complaints of electoral fraud regarding postal voting.

JohnofEnfield said...

I went home to Yorkshire last weekend & watched local TV & I was struck by

1. the stories of Balls being called "A Toff" hit home hard whereas the Conservative Candidate sounded very local to my well trained ears.

2. in a 4 way discussion, when immigration was raised Balls called the Tory "racist" and the Tory said "why is even discussing immigration labelled 'racist'?". Well said sir!

I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Balls go under.

MekQuarrie said...

All seems depressingly plausible... :-(

Fitaloon said...

ng as numer 1 is right (or better) who cares about the rest.

Jeannette Towey said...

Been helping out Simon Jones in Dagenham and Rainham the last three days as part of the Tunbridge Wells 'hit squad'. He's got one hell of a team there and if there's any justice in the world he'll get in. They were cautiously optimistic yesterday and are pushing hard right up to 10pm today. The result should come in about 4:30am

Dobson said...

I think some of those will be right

ukipwebmaster said...

Nigel has been injured in a plane crash. We've just heard that he's sitting up in the ambulance at the moment. More later.

Stepney said...

Here's a few more:

1) At least 3 Labour citadels will fall. Seats where you're supposed to weigh the vote. Jawdroppers.

2) Cameron's majority will hang on the Cheltenham result - and the buggers aren't even turning up to count until tomorrow morning. Expect a long wait.

3) Labour will fall below 200 seats. How far? Far enough for the civil war to start in earnest by 0700 tomorrow.

M said...

You may be right about the Tories winning from 1 to 4 seats in Scotland but there's nothing surer than that a win by the Tories at Westminster is going to lead to an ever increasing clamour in Scotland to go independent such is the Scots voters visceral hatred for all things Tory.

David Cameron might succeed in blunting the clamour if he grants Scotland full fiscal autonomy but be assured that nothing short of that is going to stop the increased momentum towards independence once the Tories are in power at Westminster.

Simon Gardner said...

And UKIP’s vote will not exceed 3%.

JMB said...

The joke about Broon's door key makes me wonder what arrangements he has made for a London home from tomorrow?

Wasn't there a lot of talk about him not having a "first home", only the "second home" in his constituence on which he claims expenses.

Annabel Herriott said...

John Enfield. Your ears ARE very well trained indeed. As a West Yorks person myself, I can verify that Anthony Calvert was brought up in the constituency, lives in the constituency, works in the constituency, and I think he is a Cllr there as well. I absolutely hope he ousts Blinky Balls.

anne riddle said...

Please be wron g about Ed Balls hanging on ! Just heard on Sky that Nigel Farage is not seriously hurt.

Fitaloon said...

21st Prediction:
Iain Dale doesn't forget to turn his Microphone off.

Lauchlan McLean said...

You will be wromg , wrong , wrong about Berk Bercow surviving in Buckingham. The voters there consider him and his truly awful wife as figures of fun.

George said...

Lets hope that No: 20 is right.

Chris said...

@M
You may be right that a Tory win with only 1-4 seats in Scotland will increase unrest there and sharpen SNP rhetoric. As an Englishman I accept Scotland's right to self determination and think there should be a referendum ASAP. If Scotland did become independent I suspect that the Scottish Conservative Party would be much more successful - freed of associations with England and the Union - while the SNP would presumably fade away having achieved its objective.

p smith said...

As a Labour voter, I have no difficulty agreeing with most of your predictions Iain. I don't believe that the polls have adequately accounted for the better turn out operation that the Tories will have as opposed to a demoralised Labour party. I also think that history will show that the Clegg bounce ended up killing Labour. The Tory voters who dabbled with Clegg have returned and, as in 1983 and 1987, the progressive vote will split in the Lab-Con marginals.

I see a Tory majority of around 20 as likely and Brown will be gone by Friday afternoon.

What happens next will be much more fascinating. If Labour elect a viable leader (ie not Harman or Blinky), they will look to mount an effective opposition to a Tory party that is beholden to its right wing fringe. The Tories will garner no support from the Libdems as, with a majority, they will kill the PR dream. Therefore Cameron will need to count on every one of his MPs to move his programme forward. That is a given for his first budget but let's see how his nuTory agenda stands up to the pressures of actual government. John Major certainly didn't enjoy a small majority and we are set for interesting times.

This night however will be yours. So, for now, enjoy it. You've earned it.

Simon Gardner said...

Lauchlan McLean said...
“You will be wromg , wrong , wrong about Berk Bercow surviving in Buckingham.”

Er. I live in Buckingham. John Bercow is in fact very popular as a constituency MP. Plus the vast Tory vote seems to be holding up for him.

So I’m more than happy to take a bet on it if you are interested.

Present guess is plane-crash Farage will be a distant 3rd.

DespairingLiberal said...

I'm not clear why you say I'm a laughing stock Iain - is it because I make people laugh? Hurrah! Anyway, to go back to the actual question, you are predicting an uptick in Tory support sufficient to win you some seats there. I am saying this is exceptionally unlikely. You may disagree but why is that a complete joke? Let's see tomorrow - I think you'll find I was right - there will be no significant increase in Tory support sufficient to win them extra seats in Scotland. Unless you are just using the range "1-4" as a sort of non-prediction prediction?

Nearly all of your predictions are in fact quite easy - John Bercow to hold? Duh. Esther to get a pasting? Nap.

The most predictable one is you mark the LibDems down 2% on the most recent Poll of Polls - yet in all the last elections going back many years, they gained more than the pollsters said they would. Isn't it in fact far more likely that they will get more this time? Let's assume they get the usual 2% more than the pollsters say? Using the BBC calculator, that would give the LibDems 93 seats. I have placed a bet on them winning 90-100 seats.

Eoghan said...

Predicting "between 1 and 4" Tory seats in Scotland isn't much of a prediction. They're only in with a shout of winning between 1 and 4.

I'm not sure that Cameron will be able to claim victory by 7am, certainly not as far as a majority is concerned. He'll be happily able to say they're the biggest party before that though.

Oliver Letwin will win easily. I honestly think Ed Balls could lose. And I'm not sure that Brown will be gone by the end of Friday - he may still be hoping to work out a Liberal deal by then.

The results DO show the need for electoral reform, and they're not even out yet!

Lola said...

Is that a list of predictions? Or a wish list?

Chris said...

Servalan - I commented earlier on Farage's crash and whether it would have an bearing on the election in Buckingham - but now we have more details on the story I think we should spare a thought for the pilot and his family. I understand he's seriously injured.

On the subject of Bercow - like you and Iain, I think he'll win because there are too many other candidates. A straight fight with Farage would obviously have been closer. You say "Plus the vast Tory vote seems to be holding up for him." But how on earth would you know?

Chris said...

@Despairing Liberal - you are very confusing! Iain has predicted the Tories will win at least one but not more than four seats in Scotland. You seem to think that is too optimistic. So your prediction is that the Tories will win no seats at all in Scotland. Is that right?

Liz said...

Hope you are wrong on the following
6, 8 (I wish) and as to No 11 God forbid................

Straight with you Nick? said...

Iain's prediction that the Tories majority will be only 12 and that David Cameron will claim victory between 7 and 8am is not possible. I understand about 20 seats aren't even going to start counting until 10am on Friday morning. Unless all these constituencies are all safe Labour seats and as such wouldn't have any bearing on the outcome, an 8am result would be unlikely.
However, a Tory majority of 30 to 40 seats would allow David Cameron to claim victory around breakfast time and I predict that will be the outcome of today's poll.

Paddy said...

Well done for sticking your neck out, Iain.

Here's another (unlikely) one: it will all come down to the result from Thirsk and Malton, which is being delayed until May 27 because of the death of the UKIP candidate. Should be a Tory hold for Anne McIntosh but with the Tories one seat shy of outright victory, Gordon Brown refuses to leave office until the voters have been heard as Labour *only* need to overturn a 14,000 majority.

Pricked and Tickled said...

Gosh you are a very brave man! But then again by making 20 predictions you are bound to get at least some right.

Tricia said...

"Simon Jones will oust Jon Cruddas at Dagenham & Rainham". I hope so as Simon is another Epping Forest protege, but let's remember that actually James Brokenshire ousted Jon Cruddas from Hornchurch at the last election. Then the Hornchurch seat disappeared in the boundary changes, with the Rainham part of it going in with Dagenham. So Jon Cruddas has been out of Parliament since 2005.

DespairingLiberal said...

Paddy / Prickled - he isn't brave and he isn't sticking his neck out.

He's just claiming that Cameron is going to win outright (standard punditry) and the rest are all pretty solidly predictable anyway. The only one that is unlikely, apart from Cameron's outright win, is an increase in Tory votes in Scotland sufficient to give them a few more seats. Chris - on that point I meant that saying "1-4" seats is obviously meant to suggest an increase.

Still, personally I think it would be nice to see more than one Tory MP north of the border - as that way the Conservative Scotland website could say "MPs" instead of "MP" in it's major tabs!

Graham De Roy said...

As long as you get No 1 right - oh and No 11 wrong.

Patrick said...

18. Gordon Brown will resign as Labour leader by the end of Friday.

Come on. please give us a time on friday? Everyone bets friday. The political betting sites say by 3pm.

neilreddin said...

Someone, somewhere will complain that they wanted to vote for Nick Clegg, but couldn't find his name on the ballot paper.

(Bonus points if they're in Hallam).

thespecialone said...

neilreddin - that made me smile!

macuser_e7 said...

I think your turnout prediction is way too optimistic - 65% is the best we can hope for.

I'm also sticking with the view that the Tories will be the largest party in a hung parliament - although that won't stop Cameron claiming outright victory.

A bolder (and riskier prediction): Sarah Teather will beat Dawn Butler in Brent.

David said...

I reckon mostly correct except...
7. sadly may be wishful thinking
12. it will be charles clarke at 10.05pm
13. see 7.
19. assuming he doesn't do it on the basis of the exit poll
20. the surprise will be sir reg empey, if he wins south antrim

Jim Arnott said...

I looked at the betting odds in each constituency, took every favourite and here are the results:

Conservatives: 326
Labour: 210
Lib Dems: 82
SNP: 9
Plyd: 4
DUP: 9
SDLP: 2
SF4
Others: 3
(One constituency to vote later)

Mr Brown can prepare to hang up his boots.

awkwardgadgee said...

Wildly optimistic I would say.

Stephen said...

Tricia

I think you have may have confused Jon Cruddas with Jon Cryer.

The latter was beaten by James Brokenshire in Hornchurch last time. The former is restanding as sitting MP for a reconfigured Dagenham against Simon Jones and a ragbag of others.

Mr Cryer, after a few years out following his defeat, is now the Labour candidate for safe Leyton and Mr Brokenshire, the Conservative candidate for somewhere safe south of the river as his seat, Hornchurch, has subsequently has been merged with Angela Watkinson's Upminster.

The MP for Hornchurch upto 1997 was the great Robin Squire.

This Royal Throne of Kings said...

Hmmm, think you're wrong on Bercow and hope against hope that you are on Blinky...

Trevor Malcolm, Portsmouth, Hampshire said...

Predictions, you say? Then, “Surprised if I get even half of these right”

-----------------------------------------------------



Heavens, Man, where’s your self-confidence, Mr Iain Dale?

Sir, your trademark “nervous modesty” occasionally fails to serve you

For example, fancy sharing your predictions proviso: “ … if I get HALF of these right, I’ll be surprised” with your online friends, here. We hold good faith in your hot tips, your sound advice. And, above all, the accuracy of your predictions

To help restore your own self-belief, don’t you recall over 9 months ago (on Saturday, 1st August 2009), your twin-prediction for the year 2010?

One, that NuLabour wouldn’t win the election, and two, that Mr Alastair Campbell's beloved Burnley Football Club would get relegated at the end of their first season in the Premiership

As you know, that second one’s come true already, see? See how well it works, sir?

And if, as we speak tonight, results move as you predict, then I fear much chagrin chez les Campbells of Gospel Oak, Hampstead tomorrow. But hey, suppose you emailed your Facebook friend, Mr Campbell, some words of consolation. Help him wipe away those sad tears of despair

Words like “ … Your Royal Highness, Sir Iain here, if you please, laddie; just a reminder of my twin-prediction on Saturday, 1st August, last year, remember?

Blessed be AC, always blessed be, in genuine friendliness, from your favourite crystal-ball gazer, Mr Dale ...”


Yeah, try that. Oh, but without falling off your chair backwards, laughing, like that

TM -------

-------------

macuser_e7 said...

Of the 3 predictions I made at 3.32 yesterday afternoon, 2 are right and 1 wrong.

I am absolutely delighted to have called Brent for Sarah Teather and got it right.

Is there a prize?

Ciraric said...

"1. I stick by my January prediction of a Tory majority of 12.
2. Turnout will be 68-70%
3. The LibDems will get around 80 seats.
4. Vote share will be C 38, Lab 28, Lib 26
5. BBC/ITN/Sky Exit poll will predict a hung parliament - and be proved wrong.
6. John Bercow will win by a mile.
7. The SNP will get only 7 seats.
8. Labour chief whip Nick Brown is defeated by the LibDems.
9. John Denham loses his Southampton seat.
10. Jon Cruddas will be ousted in Dagenham & Rainham by Simon Jones.
11. Ed Balls will hang on.
12. John Reid will be the first senior Labour figure to turn on Gordon Brown - guess around 3am.
13. The Conservatives will win more than a dozen seats in Wales.
14. Esther Rantzen will be humiliated in Luton South.
15. Oliver Letwin will squeak through and hang on to his seat.
16. David Cameron will claim victory between 7 and 8am.
17. The Conservatives will win between 1 and 4 seats in Scotland.
18. Gordon Brown will resign as Labour leader by the end of Friday.
19. Nick Clegg will declare at between 3am and 4am that the results so far prove the need for electoral reform.
20. David Cameron will announce his first cabinet appointments on Friday evening and spring at least one major surprise."

So you got six out of twenty?