You have to hold your hands up, as a football manager might say, the boys done well.
Ipsos Mori’s exit poll of over 17,000 voters in the UK general election was right on the money, its prediction of 307 Conservative seats to 255 Labour and 59 Liberal being very close to what will be the final outcome when the votes are finally all declared later today.
So they should be, of course, with a sample that large but there were still a few suckers who thought they were wrong, in particular punters on betting exchange Betfair who, as Sky’s Jeff Randall kept telling us, were sure that the Liberal Democrats would do better (they flopped, winning more or less the same number of votes as in 2005).
Some optimists, City boys obviously, were even betting on a Tory clear majority long after it was evident that the five per cent swing against Labour they were achieving wouldn’t do the business.
Which makes these all-night election broadcasts rather tedious when you know the result at ten o’clock. It was much more fun in the days of BBC presenter Peter Snow leaping about the studio with his ‘swingometer.’
Some individual seats were still interesting of course: BNP leader Nick Griffin losing badly to Labour’s Margaret Hodge, education minister Ed Balls hanging on by 100 votes in Yorkshire (I wonder if anyone was locked out of the polling station and unable to vote there) and Greens leader Caroline Lucas winning the party’s first Parliamentary seat in Brighton Pavilion.
In the meantime we wait to see who will form a government as no party has the needed majority of 326 seats.
And to see if the bond traders will consign the UK economy to an even bigger dustbin than that currently occupied by Greece.