On 8 April I made a series of election predictions. I also promised to return to them once the results were in. So, how did I do?
1. There will be a hung parliament, with the Tories taking marginally more seats than Labour.
I basically called this right, though it has been a little more than 'marginally'.
2. Turnout will be slightly higher than in the 2001 and 2005 elections, but not nearly as high as in 1997 when Labour won a landslide. I predict 60-63%, with the slightly increased turnout benefitting Labour but making little difference.
Turnout was reported as around 65% overall, so I slightly underestimated it.
3. The Lib Dems will take 20-22% of the vote. They'll be pleased with their share of the vote but frustrated at failing to pick up many seats.
The second sentence here is certainly correct. As for the stats, they have done slightly better: 23-24%. But nobody anticipated the party's 'surge' during the campaign.
4. The BNP will come nowhere near winning any seats. Nick Griffin will do well in Barking and Dagenham, and a number of candidates elsewhere will get good votes. But it won't be the breakthrough the fascists hope for.
Yes - I got this right (pleased to say).
5. Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party, will win an extremely narrow victory in Brighton, giving the Greens their first ever MP.
Again, a good call!
6. Respect will fail to get anyone elected to the Commons, but Salma Yaqoob in Birmingham and Abjol Miah and George Galloway in east London will get strong votes. Salma Yaqoob, however, will be the only one who comes close to winning.
More or less correct, though Salma didn't get quite as close as I thought. The east London candidates polled 16-18%.
7. Almost all other left wing candidates, including Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates, will get very poor votes and lose deposits, though a few (including Dave Nellist in Coventry) will score respectable results.
Mostly correct, though perhaps optimistic in the last bit: does Dave Nellsit's 3.7% count as respectable? I was thinking more in the region of 10%.
8. UKIP will be marginalised and fail to make a significant impact. Also, we will not see the wave of victories for independents anticipated by some people when the expenses crisis was at its height.
All in all I feel I was rather prophetic. Those I got wrong were not far off.
For good post-election analysis see Lindsey German's Counterfire article. For left-wing candidates' results check out Liam Macuaid and A Very Public Sociologist.