Today, you can make me wrong.
Not just a little wrong but very wrong.
My post yesterday listed predicted baselines against which we can assess the election results. It has largely been supported by Jon Collins of the Police Foundation (check the comments section and you'll see). Some folk at The Guardian tell me they hope to use it in their election day paper. It's certainly had plenty of views, perhaps because more sensible people have backed away from making anything that looks like a prediction in one of the most unpredictable elections in recent British political history. (Not all though – see Mike Smithson and John Curtice)
But I wrote it with a heavy heart.
You see, I don't want people to vote for their favourite colour. I want them to vote for the best candidate.
That's why I've run this site for the past 9 months – so that you would have as much information as you could to help you decide. The fact that you are reading these words suggests that you are one of those people who doesn't have to wait for a slice of dead tree to come through your door in order for you to be informed. Right now you are just clicks away from finding out how best to cast your vote, so resist the temptation to whinge about overworked candidates not getting to your door among a million others. The people who fought and died for your vote never had as much information as close to hand in any of their elections as you have right now.
Neither did they, or you, or I, ever have the chance to have such a direct say in how we will be policed or in how crime will be dealt with where we live. Yes, the government may have fluffed some elements of this election, but more importantly they have done what no other government has done – they have given us a choice. It is up to us now to use it.
So read a little, think a little, make up your mind, and go and vote.
I've been fortunate to meet many of the candidates in these elections. I've spoken with them, corresponded with them, and got a feel for what they are really like, and plenty of them are quite good. This leaves me with a real sense of pity if people decide solely on tribal loyalties, whether that be the traditional party tribes, or the new anti-party tribe, for there are good and bad in all. That party label is an important shortcut to key political views, and I'm glad voters have that information to help them decide, but it isn't everything.
So I would like to be wrong.
I would like no candidate to feel 'safe' because of where they are standing, and no good candidate to be wasted because of where they live. I would like some Independents, the right ones, to win. I would like it not to be predictable.
Today you have two votes. Use them wisely. Use them both.
Make me wrong.