Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Will the general election results be more boring than people expect?

Iain Dale has been doing sterling work predicting the result in May's general election for each constituency.

When it came to Scotland, I thought his forecasts showed some distinctly fanciful SNP gains.

And yet Iain writes:
Others are projecting that the SNP could win upwards of 40 of Scotland’s 59 seats. I regard that as completely fanciful and it shows why making any sensible prediction has to be done on a seat by seat basis. 
In truth, when I did my Scottish predictions I had the SNP on 13 seats. I went back and looked at some of their other target seats and bumped them up to 18. How on earth they could win much beyond that is beyond me.
On Conservative Home Stephen Tall somehow gets the SNP total up to 22, but he makes another prediction that suggests the 2015 general election will be less of a political earthquake than many expect.

For in forecasting the share of the vote and number of seats each of the party's will win, he suggests that the Liberal Democrats will poll 12 per cent and Ukip 11 per cent.

Looking at recent opinion polls, I too have been wondering whether the Lib Dems might not outpoll Ukip. It has to be said, though, that this has more to do with the steady slippage of Ukip support than any great surge for us.

But then, as Stephen points out, "election results are usually a lot more dull than the speculation which precedes them". So it is not out of the question that there will be a huge fall in Ukip support when measured against the last European elections. That is what happened at the 2010 general election

Add to this what you might call the Fruitcake Factor - and here is today's piece of Ukip flakery - and it is quite possible that the Lib Dems will storm to third place.

And the Greens? They have put up some impressive opinion poll figures recently, but as everyone has been pointing out on Twitter today, there support is concentrated among the youngest voters. They very people, as we Lib Dems discovered last time round, who tend not to vote.
Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice
So it is quite possible that the results of the 2015 general election will be a lot less interesting than many people expect.

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