Monday, 6 April 2015

Election predictions

This is, according to David Cameron, the most important election in a generation. And, according to all commentators, it's the most unpredictable election since 1945.

The first claim is simply wrong, at least in the sense that Cameron means. The second is undeniably true. But that merely invites the making of predictions. There's no fun in predicting the inevitable; much more entertaining to commit oneself when there's every chance of being completely wrong. So, to launch this new incarnation of my blog, here is my prediction for the result of the forthcoming election:

There will be a Conservative government with a small majority.

And some more predictions... After the election, things get really interesting. That Conservative majority will wither on the vine in the heat of the EU referendum, and Ukip - having won fewer than five seats in the election - will blossom, fed by a steady stream of Tory defectors. And that will skew the balance of power within Ukip towards Douglas Carswell and away from Paul Nuttall, to the ultimate detriment of the party's fortunes. The defections will sufficiently panic the Conservatives that when Cameron steps down (having won the referendum), they will opt for Boris Johnson as leader, thereby ensuring that they lose the subsequent election.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party will decide it ought to have a woman as leader, and will choose Rachel Reeves over Yvette Cooper, thereby ensuring that they also lose the subsequent election.

Also choosing a new leader will be the Liberal Democrats. They won't perform disastrously in the election (though they'll win fewer seats than the SNP), but - finding they're not needed in government - they will go for a change anyway. The new leader will be Tim Farron, thereby ensuring that they do rather well in the subsequent election.

PS I would like to point out that on the day of the 2001 general election, I correctly predicted - against all conventional wisdom - that Iain Duncan Smith would take over as Tory leader. Since then, however, I've been wrong on almost every occasion. So if any of this turns out to be correct, I'll be trumpeting it for years to come.

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