It is time to put my money where my mouth is.
With one week to go until polling day, I’m going to make some specific predictions. I’m then going to put on bets for those predictions at the bookies.
- The Conservatives will win the most MPs, but will fall far short of a majority.
- The Conservatives will win 290 seats with a share of the vote above 34%.
- The Labour Party will win 270 seats with a share of the vote below 33%.
- The Liberal Democrat vote will not completely collapse. They’ll win 25 seats with 12.5% of the vote.
- The SNP will win 50 seats or more in Scotland, leaving just a couple for the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives and a handful for Labour.
- Plaid Cymru will ride a nationalist ‘wave’ to win 4 seats in Parliament.
- UKIP will win two seats (Clacton and Thurrock). I don’t think they will win in Thanet South.
- The Greens will win one seat, retaining Brighton Pavilion.
- Turnout will be high by recent standards, if not exactly spectacular. I think it will be just under 70% (65.1% in 2010, 61.4% in 2005).
- There will be a left of centre government, with the SNP critical as either a coalition partner or in a supply and confidence capacity.
- Ed Miliband will be the next Prime Minister.
- The swing against the Conservatives will be more pronounced in London than in the rest of the UK.
- Labour will retain Hampstead and Kilburn. They will take Battersea.
- A very local prediction – the Conservatives will hang in by the skin of their teeth in South Ribble (my old home constituency), despite a strong Labour challenge.
And now, the bets!
I’ll publish how many of these I got right, wrong and spectacularly wrong after the election!
What do you think will happen?