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So how wrong was I?


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 15 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 15 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and write about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 15 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

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.

This 564th post was filed under: Election 2005.

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Comments and responses

Comment from Anon E Mouse

    00.40, 07/05/2005

“The most disappointing thing for me is that my local MP has been re-elected”

This comment really does reveal your political bias towards the Conservative Party.

Comment from sjhoward

    00.53, 07/05/2005

“Stick with sjhoward.co.uk throughout the election for partisan, biased, opinion-based election coverage.”

It’s not like I made a secret of it. Besides which, I’m not biased towards the Conservatives per sé, I simply wanted a party with a small majority elected, whichever of the three main parties that might be.

With reference to my local MP, I’m only biased against him because every time we have shared correspondence, his replies have been far from satisfactory in my eyes, since he appears to let his overwhelming desire to rise to lofty government levels overshadow his duty to his constituents. I would have been delighted had a Lib Dem MP been elected, just as I would if a Conservative MP had been elected, or even if my Labour MP had simply moved aside for another person.

Comment from Anon E Mouse

    15.15, 07/05/2005

“or even if my Labour MP had simply moved aside for another person”

And there was me thinking that the elected representative for Southport was a Liberal Democrat.

As for Labour safe seats, they do tend to get useless people representing them, because there is no motivation to clean out the dead wood, and it all becomes party machinations as to who knows whom and political favoritism.

As they say in Liverpool Riverside, if Labour put up a dog as a candidate, it would get elected there.

Comment from sjhoward

    18.04, 07/05/2005

Ah, but I don’t live within the Southport constituency. And my constituency is far from a Labour safe seat – fairly marginal, actually.

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