Sunday, 29 November 2009

The Hung Parliament that never was... [at least, not until later]

Can't see video? click here

Us old hands will remember the 1992 election, when almost all the polls pointed to a hung parliament, and even the network exit polls confirmed it. As the night wore on, the Tory projection increased, and the Conservatives were ultimately returned with an overall majority of 21, which, as it happened, proved insufficient to last through the parliament.

1992 is remembered now for being the "Waterloo of the Polls", and less for its real significance - the emergence of a strong anti-Tory bias in the electoral system, which has increased markedly since that date.

John Major's majority rested on just 1241 votes across 11 constituencies. Another 0.5% swing, and Labour probably would have forced a hung parliament.

Although virtually uncommented upon at the time, the electoral system had shifted dramatically in Labour's favour, and continued moving in the same direction at the two subsequent elections.
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  1. Interesting blog. Look forward to reading it from now until the election. A hung parliament would be exciting to election nerds like me but I think it's slightly more likely that the Tories will win a small majority.

  2. Thanks for the first comment, Andy, and for posting the videos on YouTube. I don't suppose you have that clip of Skinner's rant the morning after in 1992, do you?

  3. Yes - I was going to upload the whole of the second day of Election 1992 some time in the future but I may upload that particular interview by itself first since I've had a few requests for it. I wasn't going to upload the whole of the second day until probably the new year at the earliest since it is a bit onerous to split the whole thing into 10 minute segments. I may be able to put Skinner's rant up in the next week or so.

  4. Hi Rod,

    I've finally uploaded Skinner's rant on Election 92. I spent ages trying to get the sound correctly in sync with the picture but for some reason I couldn't get it right. Here it is anyway:

  5. Thanks Andy, that is greatly amusing...