Thursday, 31 December 2009

Predictions for 2010

A lot of commentators have been setting out their predictions for 2010. It is a tempting game because if you get it right you can say, 'look wasn't I clever?' but embarrassing if you are completely out. To their credit most commentators own up to the howlers.

If you are going to make some predictions then it might be worth bearing in mind the following points.

The polls

There has been a lot of focus on whether there will be an outright winner at the next general election. This is based on the polls looking like we are in hung parliament territory.

Remember that national swings don't tell us the whole story. Study what is going on in the marginal constituencies if you want your prediction to be accurate.

The Labour party

Assuming a Conservative party win, there has been speculation as to what will happen to the Labour party after the election. There is a view that Labour has been hollowed out and will not be able to present itself as an effective opposition.

Remember that a party without an ideological base may find it far easier to renew itself than one with two strong opposing poles.

The Liberal Democrats

Conventional wisdom tells us that the Lib Dems will lose some seats but could become part of the next government if there is a hung parliament.

Remember even if there is a hung parliament there may not be a coalition government.

There has been no speculation about whether the party will stay as it is or head more towards 'social' or 'economic' liberalism post the election. If you have a taste for prediction this could be fertile ground.

The Conservatives

A slim majority is the most expected outcome for team Cameron.

Remember that everyone is having a go predicting this so it might be more interesting to speculate on the shape of the future cabinet and the direction of travel that a Cameron government will take.

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