A local look

Right, some predictions for local eats – the ones I drive through on a daily basis or have an interest in;
Blackpool South – Labour HOLD, majority 2,000. Gordon Marsden may not be loved, may not be a great MP (expenses-saint status apart, of course), but the demographics continue to shift in his direction and the local Tory, Cllr Ron Bell, has found himself involved in a messy donations scandal. Well-liked Lib Dem Doreen Holt gets above 6,000 votes, BNP drops back from its 2005 total
Blackpool North & Cleveleys – Con GAIN, majority >1,000 for Paul Maynard, the hard-working young Tory candidate. Labour’s Penny Martin, brought in at the last moment, was potentially a good choice, but doesn’t seem to have gained much traction
Lancaster and Fleetwood – Con GAIN, majority 3,000 plus. Suspect the notional figures are dodgy here, Labour’s Clive Grunshaw is little known at the Lancaster end of the constituency, and the Lib Dems, Fleetwood (ex-Labour) independent Cllr Keith Riley and, particularly, the Greens’, who’ve run the best campaign by all accounts and have an excellent local candidate in whistleblowing councillor Gina Dowding, will cut heavily into his vote. Wouldn’t know the Tory, Eric Ollerenshaw, if I fell over him
Morecambe – Lab HOLD, majority 2,500 – back the independent-minded Geraldine Smith to do the business
Wyre and Preston North – Con HOLD, 15,000 + majority for Ben Wallace, almost certainly a minister in any new Tory administration
Fylde – Con HOLD – ridiculously youthful-looking new man Mark Menzies with a smilar majority to the popular, retiring Michael Jack – say 10,000
Westmorland and Lonsdale – Lib Dem HOLD the place is plastered with posters for the excellent Tim Farron, who’ll be returned with a Lib Dem majority of, perhaps, 5/6,000

A bold, and possibly unwise, prediction

Polls close in a little over 24 hours, and we’re facing perhaps the most unpredictable election in modern British history. This could go either way, or end in a parliament that is as well hung as Dirk Diggler.

But, it’s neck on the line time and, based on what’s been said and done over the last 24-48 hours, here’s the Farrang Fields prediction;

Labour WIN
By that, I mean a Labour total of around 300 seats, enough to stagger on at least for the time being. Note also that this doesn’t neccesarily mean Labour win the most votes – in fact, quite the contrary.

Yep, bold, quite possibly stupid and it could quite easily go the other way. But over the last few days a few things have stuck out;
Twitter is full of people who’ve flirted with the Lib Dems bouncing back, however reluctantly, to Labour
A YouGov poll for the Sun suggests that 46 per cent of us would be ‘dismayed’ to see a Tory government on Friday (caveat: no such question was asked of Labour)
Briefings from inside the Labour party – but very much in line with what’s there for all to see – that the Lib Dem vote is flakey and more than 20 per cent of voters had today not made up their mind – five per cent more than at most elections. Expect to see the Lib Dems surge on in seats they can realistically win, but not make a breakthrough more widely

And, above all else, this is not a hard election for Labour to win. The demographics, the electoral system… and the fact that Cameron never quite closed the deal with the British public.

The full prediction is as follows;

Conservative – 34 per cent
Labour – 32 per cent
Lib Dem – 25 per cent

Run through the general election calculator on Electoral Calculus, with regional weighting (Lab and Lib doing better in the North, worse in the South, that leaves seat totals as follows)

Labour – 296
Conservative – 250
Liberal Democrat – 72
others -14

A few tactical votes and imponderables here and there and Gordon Brown has a chance, at least, of crawling on for the next few months… and we can do it all again next year!