So my HE predictions were generally rubbish, but a healthy dose of grade inflation and generous use of the marking criteria got me over the line! So what about my predictions for politics:
1 – There will be a General Election. Note the singular, not plural.
Yes, I got one!
2 – After the election, a majority coalition will be formed. There will not be a minority government; it will be Conservative/Lib Dem.
I wish I had just said majority government. I was wrong.
3 – The combined vote share of Labour and Conservative parties will be lower that 65%.
Wrong, contrary to what I expected, the combined share went up for the first time in years.
4 – The Conservatives will be the largest party in vote share and number of MPs.
Hooray. Got one.
5 – The Lib Dems will hold on to 40 (+/- 4) seats.
This is what completely threw me. I genuinely expected the Government as a whole to be judged as having done a reasonable job in the circumstances, and a better proposition that a Government led by Ed Miliband. I did not expect the Conservatives to reap the reward at the expense of the Lib Dems.
6 – The SNP will storm the election in Scotland, but not as strongly as currently predicted. I’d say they’ll take half the seats (30 +/-3).
Very wrong, they got 56!
7 – UKIP and the Greens will take a big share of the vote, but have less than 10 seats between them (6 and 1 respectively).
I’m going to give myself a point for this and ignore my bullish specificity about number of seats. Together the two parties took 16.4% of the vote (12.6% for UKIP and 3.8% for the Greens)
8 – The Conservatives will lose 25-30 seats to Labour but gain 10-15 from the Lib Dems in the South.
Wrong, the Conservatives only made a net loss of 2 seats to Labour! They basically wiped out the Lib Dems in the South, they took 27 seats from them!
9 – Labour will gain a lot of seats from Conservatives and Lib Dems, but will lose a chunk to the SNP, so will only be marginally better off.
They gained a handful from both. Only a net gain of 2 from the Conservatives and 12 from the Lib Dems. They ended up with 26 fewer seats than after the 2010 election.
10 – In the face of another Conservative led government, the SNP will go back on their pledge not to vote on England (Wales and NI) only matters, and they will make a big noise about this! They will shamelessly say that this is the will of the Scottish people after they voted to stay part of the UK.
I got this right. The SNP have played their hand perfectly so far.
11 – The SNP’s behaviour will be catnip to Conservative MPs and there will be some shambolic attempts to resolve the ‘West Lothian question’. It will end up like House of Lords reform, with a majority in favour of change, but nobody agreeing on the solution!
I was right about the catnip, right about the shambolic attempts to resolve the ‘West Lothian question’, but wrong about the majority in favour. The reform has been made to the Standing Orders of the House of Commons, not sure it’s actually going to make much of a difference though because the SNP will find a way.
12 – The results of the election will demand a debate about electoral reform, because the splintering of votes across 2 large and 4 substantial ‘others’ will produce distorted results with very few MPs winning their seats with an absolute majority, I’d even say that most MPs will be elected with less than 40% of the vote.
The only demands are coming from the Labour Party, from people who believe that the way to win elections is to change how you count the votes, not develop a proposition to the electorate that they might want to vote for. Good luck with that!
13 – George Osborne becomes Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond Chancellor, Theresa May will be Cameron’s effective deputy (like Hague has been in this Parliament) not sure she stays at the Home Office though.
There was no change at the top!
14 – Nick Clegg is re-elected and remains deputy PM.
Poor Nick Clegg. I genuinely think he was a good thing in British Politics, a voice of moderation and reason, and a politician interested in actually getting in to government to do things rather than snipe from the sidelines.
15 – Ed Miliband resigns, putting the Labour Party out of its misery!
He did, but who would have though that that would have been the beginning of the misery, not the end!
16 – Jeb Bush will not be a Presidential candidate at the end of the year.
He might as well not be. He’s not coming back from his stupor at th bottom of the polls. But technically, I’m wrong.
17 – Hilary Clinton also will not be.
Extremely wrong, not only is she still in, but is looking likely to sail through to the Presidency. That’s a good thing though, so I don’t mind getting this wrong.
18 – Euro countries (after much flapping and hyperventilating in the media) elect moderate governments).
They have. We’ve yet to see what pans out in Spain, but I suspect a moderate Government will come to the fore in time.
19 – Angela Merkel will announce that she will not stand for a fourth term.
She didn’t but I think the announcement is coming. It should be remembered that Merkel first came to the fore in German politics when she exposed the corruption under Helmut Khol’s leadership. She was exasperated because she thought a leader in post for too long becomes corrupt. She will have been Chancellor for 12 years at the time of the next election and leader of the CDU for 17.
So. A dismal 8 out of 19! I blame the polls.