For the gargantuan TV productions, the very worst moment of the long night comes only minutes after they go on air. At ten o’clock tomorrow night, David Dimbleby ( or if you must, Alastair Stuart) will reveal the results of the Exit Poll. Share with me the YouTube moment in 1992 when a still brown haired David Dimbleby predicted a hung parliament, with either the Conservatives short by 10 or Labour short by 15. The most likely result he added, digging in deeper, was Conservatives short by 25. History shows that John Major won an overall majority of 21 on a record 77% poll. After that, the Empire shook and exit polling methodology was revised.
Still, it could so easily happen all over again tomorrow night. At least the BBC aren’t going it alone this time. The pain is shared with ITN. Despite the best efforts of the brilliant Curtice and Rallings, the backup crunchers and NOP and Mori, how they’ll manage to call this one beats me.
During these final days, Gordon has fond his voice at last, Dave is stuck and Nick is fading. The result is not so much too close to call as uncallable.
YouGov’s daily tracker for the Sun keeps the Conservatives on 35%, no change from yesterday, with Labour up two points on 30% and the Lib Dems down four on 24%. Translated into seats, Labour’s support would make them the largest party in the House of Commons with 285 MPs compared to 261 for the Tories.
On trend Dave could pull away because…
The latest ComRes poll for The Independent and ITV News suggests that the contest is still wide open because 38 per cent of people said it was “quite possible” they would change their mind by tomorrow. Fifty-six per cent said it was not.The Liberal Democrat vote appeared to be the most “soft”, with 41 per cent of those intending to back the party saying they might switch, compared to 34 per cent of Labour supporters and 32 per cent of Tory supporters.
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London