Before the election, I gave my detailed prediction for the General Election 2010. Let’s see how I did:
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 was right that the Tories would be the biggest party, but I was wrong that they would have a majority. I knew I would be wrong about the size of the majority if they had have had one, but the fact that they didn’t secure a majority is something I’m reasonably happy to be wrong about. This doesn’t make it any less astonishing. In the face of this government’s apparently discredited economic management, the fact that Britain is ‘broken’ and Gordon Brown is supposedly one of the most unpopular modern Prime Ministers – coupled with double-digit leads for much of the last 2 years – the fact that David Cameron didn’t seal the deal with the electorate tells you all you need to know about what the public thought about him and his policies.
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%.
Labour was easily the second biggest party, and their vote share was 29.0%. I’ll take that. The reports of the death of the Labour party have not just been exaggerated, but wrong.
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 Lib Dems were indeed the third biggest party and I was right to anticipate they would perform significantly below expectations. But even I was out on how badly they would perform. Despite polls putting them on a par with Labour, they only secured 23.0% of the vote share.
Turnout [will] be no more than 68%.
This was my biggest call, and I was right. Turnout was 65.1% – the third lowest turnout in modern General Elections (the two previous worst were 2001 at 59.4% and 2005 at 61.4%). Many predicted turnout would be over 70% – a level below which no elections between 1945 and 1997 dropped – and would surpass the turnout of 1997. Many said that the leaders’ debates had engaged a whole new generation of voters.
All of those people were wrong.
Thus, I think I can fairly pleased with my predictions and am glad that I’m not one of those people who will have egg on their face.