Warning: This post was published more than 11 years ago.
I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!
But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:
- My views might have changed in the 11 years since I wrote this post.
- This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
- Factual information might be outdated.
- Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.
Many thanks for your understanding.
With two seats left to declare, let’s revisit my predictions…
Labour: I said Tony would walk away with 370-380 seats. I was wrong. He’s only got 355. This may have been a mistake on my part, but it’s a mistake that cheers me a little. All I wanted was a party with a small majority, and Mr Blair has had his majority halved. I’d still have liked it a little lower, but you can’t have everything.
Conservative: I said 185-195. They’ve got 197. So I wasn’t exactly a million miles out. They’ve not done stunningly well in overall share, but they have gained an awful lot of seats, and it’ll be quite sad to see Mickey Howard go.
Lib Dem: I said 60-70. They’re on 62. I couldn’t have been much more right on that one, then. I’m disappointed that Charlie didn’t make bigger gains, but never mind.
Swing: The magic formula predicted a swing of 2.25% to the Conservatives, which I said was probably an underestimate. It’s come out at 3%. So the magic formula wasn’t exactly magic after all, but c’est la vie.
Looking at the results and their aftermath, a couple of things bother me:
Firstly, there was less than 3% between Labour and the Conservatives in the popular vote, and yet Labour have 158 more seats. That doesn’t seem right, and surely screams of an electoral system in desperate need of reform. The problem is exactly how to reform the system, but I’m sure someone much more intelligent than me can come up with a way.
Secondly, I can’t believe that Mr Blair has let David Blunkett back into the cabinet. Is there anyone in the cabinet who’s not formerly been disgraced? For a Prime Minister roundly criticised for not taking responsiblity for his actions, this seems like a deeply cynical move after just taking an electoral bashing. I’m also far from wild about the idea of John Reid as defence secretary – he can’t even speak to an interviewer without launching into a huge conflict – heaven help us if he talks to other nations.
The most disappointing thing for me is that my local MP has been re-elected, albeit with a reduced majority. We’ve never exactly seen eye-to-eye.
So, on the whole, a better result that I’d predicted, but not exactly what I was hoping for. At least, though, Labour’s majority was low enough to make the next few months interesting, as the questions begin to be asked about Mr Blair. And who will succeed Mr Howard? The election may be over, but the fun is just beginning.