My comprehensive General Election 2010 / #ge10 prediction

I’ve made a few predictions in various places regarding the General Election. Not wishing to hide behind vagueness and fogginess, I’m capturing all of them here and the reasons for them.

If I’m right, then great. If I’m not, I’ll at least be able to look back at what I thought would happen and see where I went wrong.

Note: these aren’t the results I want. They’re the results I think we’re going to get.

First, here’s a quick recap of the topline 2005 General Election results:

  • Labour: 356 seats (-47 from 2001 General Election), 35.3% vote share, -5.5% swing from 2001 General Election
  • Conservatives: 198 seats (+33), 32.3% vote share, +0.6% swing
  • Liberal Democrats: 62 seats (+11), 22.1% vote share, +3.7% swing
  • Turnout: 61.3%

This time round, I think the Tories will be the biggest party and I think they’ll have enough for a majority. I’ve already posted that I think their majority will be between 30-40. This means a vote share of over 41%. Though I probably don’t agree with myself now (I think it will be a bit tighter – vote share of just over 40% and a majority circa 20), I’m going to stick with my original prediction.

I think that Labour will be the second biggest party, on both the share of the vote and in terms of the number of seats. I think their vote share will be high 28%.

I think the Liberal Democrats will be the third biggest party, on both the share of the vote and in terms of the number of seats. I think their vote share will be around 24%.

The key factors that inform this prediction are as follows:

  • Turnout, which I think will be no more than 68%. Far from everyone being excited by this election, I think the nature of this General Election campaign, the personalities involved, a lack of willingness to vote for any of the parties, and the general disenfranchisement with politics created by issues like MPs’ expenses will paradoxically mean people are less inclined to turn out to vote.
  • Gordon Brown. I think the “5 more years” line will resonate with people when they’re in the privacy of the polling booth.
  • The Lib Dems’ new-found support is a castle built on sand, for 3 reasons: (1) I’m highly suspicious of the jump in support the Lib Dems received following the first leaders’ debate (from approx 18-20% to 30-32%) and simply don’t think it will translate to votes on polling day – partly because I suspect voters between 18-24 make up a larger proportion of this jump in support than other groups. (2) I also think people moving away from the Lib Dems will have been exacerbated by the way Nick Clegg has conducted himself over the last two weeks, which hasn’t suggested to me that he is the candidate of ‘change’. (3) It’s just not very British: we’re a small-c conservative nation, and changes like this just don’t happen and there’s nothing (including all 3 leaders’ debates, rather than just the first) that leads me to think the Lib Dems have changed this this time.

So that’s the thinking behind my headline prediction. One thing is for sure: so many people have made so many claims about which way this election is going to go that quite a lot of people are going to have egg on their face on 7 May.

I hope I’m not one of them; but this post gives you the ammunition you need if I do get it totally wrong.


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Man of letters & numbers; also occasionally of action. Husband to NTW. Dad of three. Friendly geek.

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