Regular readers of this site will be impressed, if perhaps less than astonished, at the new high score achieved this week in the timeless game of McTernan Predicts:
It’s 4.36am. I’m going to go to bed in a minute. I’m hoping that I get up in a few hours and laugh at this, delighted at my own unfounded pessimism.
Alert readers will recall that this site has expended some energy on debunking the lazy myth – which suits the media and Labour alike – that a significant factor in the unexpected Conservative majority in May’s general election was voters being scared back to the Tories by a fear campaign about the prospect of the SNP influencing a minority Labour government.
Today we stumbled across an hour-long programme buried away in the depths of BBC Parliament, which televised “a seminar organised by Nuffield College Oxford at which leading academics and pollsters analyse the result of the General Election”.
The most interesting contribution came from a team at the University of Manchester who made two absolutely key findings from the extremely large and detailed British Election Study of the “short campaign” period, involving tens of thousands of voters.
Attention spans are brief these days, so we’ve cut it down to four minutes for you.
We’ve been keeping an eye out for something for a while now.
And today we found out.
Over and over again in the years leading up to the independence referendum, Scots were warned of the many dire consequences of voting Yes. Among the No campaign’s prime targets for scare tactics were subsidies for renewable energy.
UK government subsidies drying up certainly sounded like a scary prospect.
Much of the commentariat and media has been in a froth for the last 24 hours about the supposed failure of the nation’s pollsters to predict the Conservative victory. This, for example, was Labour’s highly-paid election guru David Axelrod:
But the truth is that the polls – just like the heavily-maligned exit poll which turned out to be bang on the money – got nothing wrong. The people interpreting them did.
The media might be shocked. But readers of Wings aren’t.
Because there’s simply no excuse for anyone acting surprised.
(April 2014 on the left, December 2014 on the right.)