Make me wrong.

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.


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17 Responses to Make me wrong.

  1. Neil Wilby says:


    You have done a quite astonishing job.

    Cedric joined the race late. It was always going to be that way.

    Like him, you have revealed extraordinary talent and raised your profile in the best possible way.

    Good things will come to both of you, whatever the outcomes on Friday.

    Very best regards


  2. Dear Sam

    I have read your blog over the past year or so and it has been excellent. The Government has not organised these elections well, Indeed I will predict that they will be researched as a case study in how not to to do it. Your blog/Twitter etc has gone a significant way to putting this right. Allowing candidates a platfrom to give a statement and make a case, has closed the democratic deficit. You have informed and commented, intelligently and often led the news on this issue. You have provided more and better information to candidates themselves, who all owe you a thanks.

    You should be commended and I will do so. Well done.

    My kindest regards

    Colin Skelton

    • samchapman says:

      Thanks Colin. This blog has always been, and hopefully will continue to be, a collaborative effort, with candidates, professionals, ordinary voters, and maybe even PCCs taking part. I hope you continue so to do in one of these roles.

  3. Paul Lander says:

    You predicted that the majority of PCCs will be either Tory or Labour, I sadly agree as the party machines will have done their job and got supporters to the polls, organised postal votes while many people place their crosses based on habit and lack of knowledge. Only the party candidates will have delivered information to a large proportion of households. I admit I have voted for a candidate in a parish council election because he was the only one to have posted information through my door.
    I suspect we will all think the debates a waste of time when results are announced on Friday as the saying that a party could put a rosette on a monkey in some areas and be elected will turn out to be too close to the truth. I hope not and know of independent candidates who deserve to be elected, but have little chance faced with the size of constituency and not being able to deliver information to voters.
    Whoever is elected will not sit as part of a council or government team, PCCs will be in sole charge and whoever is elected could be solely responsible for decisions that put safety at risk. it is a pity then that most voters are untouched by most candidates. I have not had a single leaflet from any of the six candidates in my area so will have to conduct online research to make my choice.
    Well done on providing very useful information over the last nine months, with excellent balance in your coverage. I look forward to your assessment of the results, whether you were right or wrong.

  4. Lee Rotherham says:


    Outstanding work with the blog. It’s been a must-read.

    Next year’s; world peace.

    • samchapman says:

      Hmmm. Tomorrow, the world. Don’t know about the ‘peace’ bit.
      Omelette. Eggs. You know how it goes.

  5. Sam,

    As a Labour activist I disagree with you profoundly on multiple points but you really have done a sterling job here on raising the issues.

    Pity that hardly any one in the media or for that matter the national parties has shown a similar level of interest and knowledge.

    Anyway I at least am off to vote and am looking forward to a chat with the polling station staff on turnout so far….

    • samchapman says:

      Thanks Roger – let us know what you discover on turnout.

      • Well at 4PM about 70 people had voted out of 1,000 – page after page of the voter list was unmarked.

        We’re in a commuter town so you do get more than half of the vote in the evening but I’d be surprised if we reach 20% by 10 PM.

        I’ll report back on the Sussex count tomorrow.

  6. Actually still so much in leaflet counting mode that I automatically typed number of households rather than voters in ward which is 2000 – meaning that as of 4.00 less than 4% had voted.

    As I really can’t see a huge rush to come out in the cold and dark turnout may be ridiculously low.

  7. he is not the servant of anyone, save of the law itself says:

    you were wrong from the outset – this was a very poor concept and it has been implemented execrably.
    Had you used this blog to campaign against the concept of PCC’s you would be being vindicated today.
    As predicted out you are not.

  8. christof74 says:

    Even sadder, the majority of people who I know voted did so out of fear of an undesirable candidate (a party they don’t like) winning.
    It’s a pity the race has been dominated by career politicians from the big parties looking for final gravy-train.
    Well done with the blog.

    • samchapman says:

      Thanks Chris. You make an important point – this is not just government failure – this is failure by each of the top 4 political parties too.

  9. Theo Hopkins says:

    Thanks for this blog.

    I carefully spoilt my vote, along with (possibly) one thousand other Devon and Cornwall voters.

    However, there was much useful stuff on your site that allowed me to write three serious and long letters to my local newspaper. This blog allowed me to toss in some facts, and the considered vews of others (mostly experts) – rather than just my opinions.

    Now that there _is_ a PCC in D & C, I will work from that reality. You advice on the need for any new PCC to get a good assistant or two will be the basis of another letter I will write.


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