Fraser Nelson

Predicting election results is a fool’s errand

Predicting election results is a fool's errand
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Why is predicting this election so difficult? Because voters themselves don’t know what to do. Before each of the last seven elections, Ipsos/Mori ask voters if they might change their minds. In 1983 and 1987, about one in seven said yes. This time, almost half of the British electorate may change their minds. This explains why 2010 has been the most volatile election in recent memory – with all thee parties having been ahead, in some way, during the campaign. And it also explains why prediction is a fool’s game. My gut still tells me ‘small Tory majority’ but I have learned never to bet on my gut. The press consensus is that Cameron will win over 300 seats, but no poll points to this result. And the bookies? Smarkets says 90 percent chance that the Tories will win the most seats and (gulp) a 30 percent chance of a second election this year.

Percent of electorate who say they may change their voting intention before the election

(source Citigroupgeo).

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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Topics in this articlePoliticsuk politics