Actually, I am feeling rather chuffed. Almost all my predictions that I held tenaciously (some would say pig-headedly) against friend and foe as well as all the pundits have come true. Let's just have a look. I maintained the following:
There will be a hung Parliament with Conservatives getting the most seats but no majority. Admittedly, quite a few people said this but there was a great rush among some pundits to predict a last-minute Conservative majority. No, I said, it will not happen,
The Lib-Dim effect will evaporate. The Nick Clegg bubble would be just that - a bubble. In fact, the Lib-Dims lost votes and seats and by all rights Nick Clegg should resign as he did not fulfil his promises. Indeed, he worsened the situation and that despite the fact that in an election where a hung parliament was expected it would have made sense to vote Lib-Dim if that is what people had wanted to do.
[ERRATUM: It has been pointed out to me with complete accuracy that the Lib-Dims did not lose votes. In fact, they increased their share by just under 1 per cent, which is still somewhat lower than the great hype would have led one to expect. They did, however, lose five seats and there are various constituencies around the country, such as Islington South and Finsbury, which was confidently expected to go Lib-Dim but did not. Indeed, in that particular case, the tiny Labour majority of around 500 votes went up to around 3,000 votes.]
The TV debates would not make the slightest difference to the vote. That one I had to defend strenuously against my closest friends and allies. Can anyone seriously say that those debates had any effect at all?
Attacking Gordon Brown would backfire. It did spectacularly. His own vote went up; Labour held Rochdale, place of "bigot-gate"; a number of candidates, both Tory and Lib-Dim who campaigned against Brown rather than their own sitting MPs did very poorly. Astonishingly enough, the Conservatives are continuing with their personal attacks, demanding that he vacate Number 10 immediately, which is not necessary constitutionally, and behaving as if he and his party had not done considerably better than the Boy-King and his party.
The UKIP effect will be important. I have not done my own calculations yet but shall do so as soon as there is a full list of all constituencies but, according to the Boss over on EUReferendum, Tories could have had another 20 seats if it had not been for UKIP. The question of who is to govern Britain would then have been decided fairly swiftly. Will the Conservatives learn anything from that? I suspect not.
The turn-out will not be high. And nor was it, despite sudden hysterical outbursts just before and during the election. It seems to have been 65.1 per cent, which is low by historic British standards. Admittedly, that is higher than the 2001 and 2005 turn-out but that was pathetically low. It is, as I thought last night, lower than the 1997 turn-out, which was considered to be particularly low at the time.
Now for the things I got wrong:
At about 12.30 am I predicted 297 seats for the Conservatives. It looks like someone else who predicted 310 will be closer to the result.
I assumed that Nigel Farage would not win Buckingham but would come a close second. The fact that John Stephens, a europhiliac ex-Conservative and something of a joke as a candidate beat him by about 2,000 votes was the only result that truly surprised me.
I thought my own Conservative candidate, Shaun Bailey would do better than he did. He did seem to have all the right qualifications and, in a way, it is a great shame that he did not get in, particularly as Andy Slaughter is a nauseating specimen even by Labour standards. It is good to know that the Lib-Dims and the Greens did particularly badly. My own suspicion is that Mr Bailey was not helped by the fact that a succession of Tory grandees came to campaign for him, making him look like the Boy-King's particular pet rather than a local chap with useful experience from outside politics. If Mr Bailey would like my advice, I am ready to offer it: hang on in there because there will be another election soon and next time keep the Tory grandees away from the constituency.
Here are some more predictions:
The Lib-Dims will overreach and it will not be possible for either of the other parties to form a government with them. The Conservatives will have to form a minority government and bear the brunt of the problems that are facing us all.
There will be no difference on most issues because the real government remains in Brussels.
There will be another election in 12 - 18 months' time.
There! I have put my head on the block.