Friday 14 November 2014

Well, I was wrong.

I made several predictions here, and I was wrong about some things and right about others. I'm obviously just trying to salvage some vestige of self-respect there. I was quite clearly very very wrong about the only thing that mattered:

There has never for one moment been any doubt in my mind that Scotland will vote to leave. ... I never trusted the opinion polls that showed that No would win, and I don't trust the latest polls that show that Yes will win, despite their happening to be right by sheer luck. Obviously Scotland will vote to be an independent country.


I'm actually less shamed by being wrong about that than I am by being right about this:

Some of you may remember the 1992 general election. I do. ... What was interesting about it was the stark difference between the predicted result and the actual result. I mean, yeah, sure, predictions are often a bit wrong. But in 1992, they were staggeringly wrong.

See, it turns out I was right to compare the Scottish Referendum to the 1992 General Election. The analogues with the results and the possible reasons for them — the infamous Shy Tory Vote — are striking. Thing is, I managed to get that bit right and then still draw completely the wrong conclusion from it. Being wrong based on just being plain old wrong is one thing. Being wrong based on making what turns out to be exactly the right insight is embarrassing.

Which is the other thing I was right about:

Course, if I'm wrong, this post is going to look as embarrassing as that celebratory Labour footage.

For an excellent post-election analysis of what happened and why, read Ray's blog, not mine:

The Yes team knew that 16.7% of the Scottish electorate was willing to vote Conservative at the last General Election. What they perhaps hadn’t considered was the fact that these people consistently voted Conservative in the full knowledge that, in a 'first-past-the-post' system, they had absolutely no chance of winning. That’s quite a significant statement to make, one that should perhaps have made the Yes team consider the possibility that even more people might have voted Conservative if they felt they had a chance of getting representation. And what the Yes team didn’t know they didn’t know was just how many of those newly-registered referendum voters might naturally be inclined to take a conservative (small c) option on such a contentious issue as the break-up of the United Kingdom.

I should have figured that out. But I didn't. What a fuckwit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Only 12% voted Tory on the 2011 regional list (proportional representation).

Scots don't like Tories. Simple as that.