The election results are now nearly complete. I had predicted here the following results:
Conservatives - 35%
Labour - 28%
Liberal Democrats - 27%
Other parties - 10%
I came very close! The actual results are (with only a few more seats to be declared):
Conservatives - 36% (+1%)
Labour - 29% (+1%)
Liberal Democrats - 23% (-4%)
Other parties - 11.9% (+1.9%)
More or less, I'm off by just 1% . . . which I think was better than all other pundits (although off on Liberal Democrats like everyone else).
The bigger differences are my prediction of how this vote share would translate into seats. I was less on the money here (prediction - result):
Conservatives: predicted 278 - result 302 (+22)
Labour: predicted 263 - result 256 (-7)
Liberal Democrats: predicted 80 - result 56 (-24)
The big results worth noting are the following:
1. Conservatives do not win outright. Many pundits thought they would pull this off. I thought they would win the largest number of seats, but fail to win a majority.
2. All parties lost. The Conservatives let slip a huge lead that should have seen them clinch a landslide victory. This moved further and further from their grasp as the election campaign marched on. They most definitely underperformed. Labour made historic losses across several seats and come away with some major former ministers losing seats as well, such as Jacqui Smith and Charles Clark. The Liberal Democrats surprised everyone by not polling nearly as well as virtually everyone (including me) had predicted. I had thought they were on for their best result in decades. This did not turn out to be the case. I believe virtually all smaller parties underperformed -- the Scottish National Party achieved only 6 of their hopef for 20 seats -- with the only winning party being perhaps the Green Party, winning its first MP.
3. Tynemouth stays Labour. My local constituency -- surprising in my view -- kept its Labour MP, Alan Campbell. I say surprising as his seat was the number 1 target for the Conservative Party in the North East. I was inundated by flyers, etc. and virtually nothing by Labour until the morning of the poll (save for one Campbell flyer a week or so ago). Yet, Campbell won by an even bigger margin. I called this wrong.
4. Hung Parliament. As I predicted, we will have a hung parliament where we may have a coalition government.
5. Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition. I suspect that the most likely coalition will be between Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Both are progressive parties with more in common than in disagreement. The opposite is true with the Conservative Party. Together, the Lab-Lib Dems would command 52% of the popular vote so they could claim a mandate.
So what's happening now? Full results are here. The Conservative Party is eager to strike a deal (if possible) with the Liberal Democrats. The latest is here. Again, I think this may be very unlikely.
I will keep following events closely.