The voters make fools of us all from time to time (including we hacks) and it looks as though 2015’s General Election has been one such instance.
Most of the polls have been proved wrong (except a so-called ‘rogue’ one a week or so ago which gave the Conservatives a six point lead) and David Cameron (left) is heading for a majority or something very close to it.
Ed Miliband’s impressive campaign failed to swing the nation towards Labour (wiped out in Scotland by the SNP – at least the polls got that right) and the Liberal Democrats suffered a similar indignity nationwide. The hard message for them from this election is that once you join a coalition you become a coalition party, not a party people want to vote for as an independent political force.
As for the Sun and Mail, who we castigated yesterday for their biased coverage, they are entitled to turn round and say (as the Sun has before) that they are the ones ‘wot won it’ with their last-ditch exhortations to support Cameron.
It’s usual on these occasions to ask how the result will affect various industries, in our case advertising, marketing and media. Not very much on a micro level is the answer, in the sense that business will be much as it was before. Most agencies and others will be pleased about that.
But there is now the certainty of an In/Out referendum on the EU. Many companies, including Sir Martin Sorrell’s WPP, hate this prospect. If a strengthened Cameron gets some sort of deal out of the EU and supports Britain in Europe, then the issue may be laid to rest. But the voters have surprised the wise guys in this poll and may not do what they’re expected to in a referendum either.
Another poll, on independence for Scotland, also looks likely, given the SNP’s performance.