Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Political Pundits Are Wimps

I have just been proofreading a feature for the next issue of Total Politics in which our editor has asked about 30 political pundits to predict the result of the election. It's astonishing how many of them try to worm their way out of making a firm prediction. Only a few put their necks on the block. Wimps. They're all supposed to be political experts at the top of their game and yet clearly fear making mugs of themselves.

Well, for what it is worth, my prediction remains a Conservative majority of 12 seats. It's what I predicted back in January and I see no reason to change my mind.

If it turns out to be a majority of 40, 50 or 60 I will be quite happy to have made a mug of myself!

28 comments:

Jim_Watford said...

These pundits are a joke, they are as out of touch as the politicians. Look at the shock when they venture away from Westminster and find out not everyone is a Labour supporter.

John M Ward said...

Well done for having some courage: perhaps you could share a little of it with Gordon Brown (re: the Iain Martin scene)!

I have had a gut feeling of a Conservative majority of between 30 and 35, more or less all this year, and I'm sticking with that.

titus-aduxas said...

I'll tip Tories to take a 20 seat majority.

dff said...

That's funny, Iain. It often seems that some political pundits seldom say anything novel, but rather parrot the various party lines.

With the rumour that Brown is to announce the election from outside No10, surrounded by his cabinet, I hope that some of the pundits will remind their viewers/listeners/readers that this was the cabinet that three times in less than three years considered getting ridding of Brown..!

Simon Harley said...

Hardly wimps. The late, great Alistair Cooke was averse to calling elections after he, and so many of the punditry in the United States, got the 1948 race between Truman and Dewey wrong. "Dewey and Truman will haunt me till I die", he wrote to the editor of the Manchester Grauniad.

Moriarty said...

Sky News have just allowed Charlie Whelan to TWICE assert that Ashcroft pays "no tax whatsoever" in the UK. No challenge. Nada.

The broadcast media are a disgrace.

Cynic said...

I wont prevaricate.

Conservatives to have a majority of 30 to 40. Indeed I will stick my neck out and say 35.

And if Brown makes a balls up of the election campaign and the debates - which on current evidence he may will do - I expect a collapse of Labour morale an early start of the internal civil war and a Conservative majority of perhaps 60-70

Every day, in every way, we're getting better and better!!!

Hawkeye said...

I think the marginals will have a big effect. I also think that the polls (as is traditional) overstate Labour and understate the tories by 2-3%

I'v always expected a 50 seat tory win.

Norfolk Blogger said...

I think about 20 seats tory majority. I think the Lib Dems will make a small net gain.

Malcolm Clarke said...

Hung or small Con majority. Cannot see Labour winning outright, even though I'd like to.

Steve Nimmons said...

It’s very similar in the technology game; people will make predictions about what they know to be true. It avoids the situation where you make a public statement like “home computers will never take off” or “the Internet is only for geeks and not for business”.

That said, I predict a Conservative majority between 20 and 25, and in technology terms much more use of Open Source software in Public Sector IT. What a great way to cut costs and help with deficit reduction!

Mick Turatian said...

I'd go along with the majority view here so far for around a 40 seat Tory majority.

I don't think that the pundits or polls are any good at gauging a general fed-upness with New Labour or the huge antipathy that exists for Brown personally.

Mark Serwotka, in a speech yesterday, said that this was the worst government in history.

Oddly, I didn't hear that on the BBC but they did manage to cover a change in the rules of Scrabble!

Barry said...

My prediction is a Tory majority of 23.

Hawkeye said...

@Malcolm Clarke

After 13 years of chaos, how can you possibly justify putting Gordon Brown back in? What form of reasoning allows you to say "Gordon's the man!"?

Was there ever a man more unsuited to the job of PM?

DiscoveredJoys said...

I like the idea of the Conservatives having an overall majority - so that they can concentrate on government rather than courting votes from other parties.

I like the idea of it being a small majority (e.g. the 12 you predict Iain) so that gobsmackingly stupid laws can be defeated by principled MPs.

norman said...

The Indpendent, the KGB paper, considers Peter Kellner, the husband of that disastrous EU Foreign minister as a neutral pundit. Even the Thunderer plumps for Brown. Murdoch wants Brown back. Not surprised about the Sky, LBC, BBC, Guardian.. There is a thick socialist streak running in this country, and people think that the govt can simply borrow for ever. Any repayment of debt appears as cuts as the majority working in the public sector and collecting benefits think that money grows on trees near the treasury. For those immigrants and the like who stand in the queue with prams in the nearest postoffice to me to collect the benefits from the govt do not care where their benefits are coming from as long as they are not cut and their 4+ children and the family get the benfit with free housing. That is Britain that Blair and Brown created. For them Brown talks sense and want him and the Labour back for perpetuity.

Instead of softly softly appraoch DC not worrying about Michael Howard's election time, should hit home the pernicios effect of uncontrolled immigration and escalating crime. Capping the entrants number is nonsense. DC cannot win by looking and sounding nice, reasonable and less nasty.

DespairingLiberal said...

Norman, where the heck did you get the idea that Murdoch wants Brown back? Have you not listened to the news for the last year? NI are gung-ho for Cameron and had a loud public spat with NuLab over it.

The "Tories are sad little victims of the media" thread is incredibly pathetic and probably the saddest public example of how very confused many Tory blog supporters actually are. Apart from those who know it's crap and spread it as a deliberate falsehood.

Sean Haffey said...

OK: here's my prediction

a. Lowest turnout for many elections

b. Independents and fringe parties gain strongly in votes, but not necessarily enough to get seats, except

c. 3 independent MPs elected, 2 Green MPs.

Thatsnews said...

I think it wil be between 20/25 to 50 in favour of The Conservatives.

I wonder if, post election, Brown might try for a Rainbow alliance, with bits and bobs from all over the shop?

Mirtha Tidville said...

Hmmmmm...the pundits..are they the ones who time after time call it wrong??......I simply cant beleive that the majority of people will vote Broon back in. He`s despised across the land....I dont think much of Cameron, like a lot of people, but change is what we all want and we will hold our nose and vote for him...

Anyway hands up those who have ever been contacted by `Pollsters` for their opinion????......thought not

norman said...

@DL You are not much informed. About spreading falsehood Brown and clegg are masters of the art.
Keep plumping for the liberal cause- Clegg said to one of my relatives that immigration means libdems could get the doctor who could speak the language of my relative- looking at her brown colour not realising that she was born in this country and speaks only English!

mtrcricket said...

I'll make you happy, Iain.
I predict a 100 Tory majority.
The public love lying to the polls.

jaybs said...

Pundits are a waste of time and I Hope the pollsters are shown to be well and truly wrong. We have to ensure our message is clear few want Brown and even more Mandelson and Clegg is so weak and even Cable is not all he seems to be, though voters seem to have been well and truly taken in.

J Demetriou said...

Still blocking me, Iain? Why? You need help mate.

Iain Dale said...

Because you are extremely tiresome and never have anything to say beyond insults.

go away.

J Demetriou said...

Oh right. Apart from, of course, the salient points I raised in your Grayling piece. Which you ignored. And all the other political comments and questions I've raised. Again, duly ignored, because they don't suit your tribal Tory agenda.

Dale, not only do you need a thicker skin, you need to understand (if you ever do want to become an MP) the concept of 'accountability' and being able to answer questions and respond like an adult.

norman said...

@J Demetriou. Are you the disgraced McBride? Your tactics looks like his with insults generously coated in your comments.

Iain Dale said...

The thing is, you don't get blogging, J Demitriou. I am not a politician. I am not accountable to anyone, and I am certainly not accountable to you. If I dont wish to post your insulting and acenine comments, I don't have to. And in future I won't. I frankly don't want readers like you. So be a good chap and go back to your three readers. I am sure they are missing you.

Run along now.