It is the morning after the night before and the media pundits are now running amok on all broadcasting channels.
One of their main quests is to try to work out how and why the boffin from Strathclyde University who oversaw the GfK, NOP and Ipsos MORI ‘exit poll’ prediction on behalf of the BBC, ITV News, and Sky News got it just so right for the second General Election running … and all the other ‘vote-share’ pollsters (right down to the final poll of polls) got it quite so spectacularly wrong.
My hunch as to what happened must necessarily come with as many caveats and qualifications attached to it as that of anyone else who is prepared to put their head above the parapet and give an opinion.
Nevertheless, I give it here:
The UK electorate was bored to pieces with the prolonged General Election campaign caused by the law enshrining 5 year fixed-term parliaments.
Apart from their slight novelty value, the televised leaders’ debates did nothing for British politics. We are not impressed by ‘US-presidential’ style leaders and the suggestion that we need some sort of ‘beauty parade’ reality television contest to help us make up our minds.
Frankly, there was nothing much to choose between the Tory and Labour party’s campaigns – both lacklustre and full of negativity, mud-slinging and an overriding sense that their leaders were actually prepared to say and/or promise absolutely anything that might just get them a vote … if only anyone could tell them what that was.
You know what I think happened at the last minute?
I think the British electorate woke up on polling day and – despite all the media hype about which parties had done better in the campaign, they ended voting out of straightforward self-interest.
Any why not?
Enough of them voted Tory (as the best of a bad bunch) to make the difference.
Here’s an article by Allister Heath which appeared on the website of the Daily Telegraph on 6th May, the eve of polling day, which also may have had an influence – DAILY TELEGRAPH