The exit poll for the UK General Election has just been released, and while these things have to be taken with a pinch of salt, the indications are good for David Cameron’s Conservative Party. The poll puts the Tories at 316 seats, just short of an overall majority. Labour is predicted to win 239 seats, well short of expectations.
If the poll is accurate it would be the biggest election upset in Britain in decades, if not quite on the scale of “Dewey Defeats Truman.” Even if we allow for a considerable margin of error, it suggests the Conservatives have done better than expected and will have a good chance of being able to put together a governing coalition with one or more of the Liberal Democrats, Nigel Farage’s UKIP and the Northern Ireland Unionist parties.
From a conservative point of view this poll is almost too good to check, and possibly too good to be true; my gut feeling is that it won’t be quite this good for Cameron. And because it’s so far out of line with expectations, it’s probably not worth spending too much time speculating on what it means for now — the first results will be announced within the next couple of hours, and we’ll soon get an idea as to whether the exit poll is on the right track.
My reservations about Cameron on Europe and immigration aside, the alternative is too dreadful to contemplate, so I’m quietly excited. Watch this space.