Friday, 1 November 2019

My absurdly optimistic prediction

There's an election afoot, and that is when noted opinion formers such as myself get to make wild fools of ourselves by pretending we have the faintest idea what will happen.

So, here is my absurdly optimistic prediction:
Labour - 285
Conservative - 262
SNP - 53
Lib Dems - 20
PC - 5
Ireland - 18 (probably 7 abstentions, and the DUP taking a hit.)
Greens - 1
Independents - 6
Meaning a Labour-SNP coalition, possibly with Lib Dems lending a bit of support here and there.

"Absurdly optimistic?" I hear you ask.  "You've only got Labour on 285!  I thought you'd have them down for an outright majority.  What's absurdly optimistic about 285?"

The optimism is that any prediction will withstand contact with reality.  Elections are inscrutable beasts.  They defy augury.  They confound expertise.  Anyone pretending to know how it will end is guessing and hoping.  Consider the last three:

2010 - Tory victory expected. Result - hung parliament.
2015 - Hung parliament expected (or even a Labour victory). Result - Tory majority.
2017 - Tory landslide expected. Result - hung parliament.

So, yeah, any prediction is absurdly optimistic.

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