Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Predicting the unpredictable...

I mentioned this morning that I was working on a prediction for the 59 seats in Scotland come Friday morning.  So here we are - polling data, majorities, vague knowledge of candidates and local issues, and the occasional bit of blind guesswork has led me to this:

Labour - 34 seats
Lib Dems - 14 seats
SNP - 8 seats
Conservatives - 3 seats

Which, on the face of it, would keep each of the parties fairly happy.  Yes Labour will have lost 5 seats, but it wouldn't be the disaster they'd expected.  The Lib Dems, a few short weeks ago, were probably looking at a few losses, and less than 10 seats, so 14 would be a big win.  The SNP, though nowhere near their (ridiculously ambitious) 20 seat target, would be happy with adding a couple of seats to their 2005 total in an election they've been squeezed out of by parties and media alike.  And the Conservatives would be delighted with two Scottish colleagues for David Mundell, with the fears that they have over another wipeout in Scotland.

So, here's the few seats I see changing hands:

Aberdeen South - LD gain from LAB
Berwick, Roxburgh & Selkirk - CON gain from LD
Dumfries & Galloway - CON gain from LAB
Dundee West - SNP gain from LAB
Dunfermline & West Fife - LD gain from LAB (from 2005)
Edinburgh North & Leith - LD gain from LAB
Edinburgh South - LD gain from LAB
Glasgow East - LAB gain from SNP (from by-election)
Livingston - SNP gain from LAB

The remainder will, I think, stay the same as 2005.  This includes seats like Ochil & South Perthshire, with a small majority; the four-way marginal Argyll & Bute; Labour holding off Tory & SNP charges in Stirling and East Renfrewshire and what I think will be a stonking fight in East Lothian.  The "vogue" pick amongst my friends and colleagues is a Lib Dem win in Glasgow North, but I'm not sold on it.  

Of course, as I said before, this is entirely guesswork, and based on nothing more than an amateur psephologist's instincts.  Feel free to systematically de-construct this on the basis that you think I have no idea what I'm talking about because I'm not out talking to "the people".  And let me know what you think.  

But you know I'm right... right?

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