The European Election results are in (Scotland and N.Ireland coming in later today) and if there is one conclusion to draw it’s this: I got it a little wrong on a number of predictions.
So this is the overall picture from England and Wales:
UKIP have done very well like I predicted and Labour have done OK – but not well enough – also like I predicted. The Liberal Democrats have just avoided a whitewash unlike the BNP – all like I predicted.
I am pointing out what I got right, not to be smug, but to give myself some credit before highlighting how wrong I was regarding The Green Party (whose position I spent most time analyzing).
I predicted The Green Party would pick up 4-6 MEPs (in line with many polls). They have returned 3 (although still have an outside chance for a 4th in Scotland).
In the East of England I was confident that The Green Party would elect one MEP. This didn’t happen (although they did beat the Lib Dems into 4th). I was right in predicting Labour could not get a second seat there but I underestimated The Conservatives’ ability to get their core vote out (they dropped just 2.84% from their 2009 high – that is really impressive!).
Equally, in the North West with the collapse of the BNP and the Liberal Democrats I predicted a Green gain. Once again the Conservative vote held up stronger than expected. This combined with BIG gains for UKIP meant that for the second election running The Green Party just missed out (although also beat the Lib Dems into 4th).
However, in my home region of The South West there was a pleasant surprise. Here I looked hard at the stats and just couldn’t call it. Would The Liberal Democrat vote hold up enough to gain the last seat or would there be a huge surge in Green votes? As it happened both the Lib Dems collapsed and The Green Party claimed a huge 11% of the vote.
That means Molly Scott-Cato is the first ever Green MEP for the South West. I am really delighted for her. I know her well enough to be able to say that she will be a real asset to both the South West and the green group in the European Parliament.
Anyway – this just goes to show two things: One, it is worth voting Green and two, it is also worth ignoring what I say a reasonable proportion of the time!
Full election results here (remember 27 other countries are also voting in this election!).
Just seen this photo from the count of Molly – I think she looks happy!
This on the Lib Dems performance
Last night was a ‘pretty disappointing night’ for Lib Dems in the same way the Titanic had a ‘pretty disappointing crossing’
— Lembit Öpik (@lembitopik) May 26, 2014