It was not just Labour in Scotland nor the Lib-Dems that suffered a meltdown, the betting analysts got it spectacularly wrong too. I revisited my Racing Post Election Special. It’s easier to refer to what Matthew Engel called correctly – Labour to hold Edinburgh South, Conservative Blackpool North- then his predictions – Miliband do to be next PM , Labour most seats. Labour minority government, UKIP over 3.5 seats and his stand out, nailed on 9-5 that Miliband would be the Labour leader in January 2016. I’m not knocking Engel, his pieces were as thoughtful as anything I read and he was in good company as none of the other 10 betting firm pundits got anywhere near the result. On Monday Engel wrote a convincing argument against a late Tory surge. I remember in 1992 my father ‘s face beaming that on the day before the election the market was moving upwards and him predicting a Conservative majority. I monitored the FTSE on Wednesday. It did go up initially and then fell: the markets got it wrong too.
I will not attempt a sophisticated analysis but I do not believe the pollsters were wildly inaccurate. Voters at the very last did not fancy the SNP tail wagging the Westminster dog, the uncertainty of a minority government, the inevitable tax funding of hard left policies of Miliband and the simple mantra of “don’t go back, we have a balanced plan” won for the Tories in the crucial moment in the voting booth.
I did drop a final predictor to my mates of a Tories win at 300 + seats and curse myself offer not lumping on the lay of the year, 1-14,on a hung parliament that means if you laid £100 your exposure is £14 and your profit £100.
Election 2015 did give a night and day we never forget. I took time out with the Missus from 11-00 to 2 for shopping. When I went on the BBC website, 3 party leaders had resigned in an hour. What price on 331 seats and three resignations? 1000-1?