The “99%” of certain CON profit according to the exit poll
At around 4 p.m. on the night of the December 2019 election, I decided to call it a day and try to get some sleep. Before doing so, I checked to see if my own result in Bedford had come in and the BBC website suggested that the count was still in progress, but that this was a “99% safe win from the Conservatives” according to the word of mouth survey. urn.
Well that was pretty emphatic and I didn’t bother to verify what had happened until the next afternoon, when what happened was a huge shock. In an election that had seen an overall swing from LAB to CON of 4.6%, Bedford remained Labor with a swing of just 0.7%. If ever there was a seat result to confuse the universal national swing theory, this was a great example.
The reason I remember this now is that the LAB holder involved, Mohammad Yasin, knocked on my door Friday night as part of his effort to retain the seat next time. This was the first time I met him and spoke to him about Election Night in December 2019.
What surprised me more than anything was that he was campaigning in July 2021 even though we could be more than three years away from a general election. If, as I understand it, he had knocked on doors similarly across Parliament from 2017-2019, then that was an explanation as to why he managed to hold out two and a quarter years ago. In general, voters liked that their deputies asked them and they remember their visit.
The “campaign effect” can confuse predictions on specific entries.