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2 May 2010updated 27 Sep 2015 2:21am

“Gordon Brown will lose because…”

Pundits write off Labour in advance of polling day. But what if they are wrong?

By James Macintyre

After a brief lull in the flow of the conventional wisdom which for years proclaimed David Cameron the next prime minister, pundits are once again confidently asserting the result before the election has happened.

The Telegraph‘s Benedict Brogan has declared that Cameron will be prime minister by Friday lunchtime, while Gaby Hinsliff has written a piece on the Guardian‘s website below the headline, “Gordon Brown will lose the election not because he’s bad on TV but because many voters dislike him so much”.

The Westminster game of “Brown will lose because . . .” has even seen speculation that the Prime Minister will fail because he did not go to Oxford. There are far too many examples of assertions that Cameron will win, and — in many cases — win big, for me to list them all here.

But what if — whisper it softly — things turn out differently? If Cameron does win, the very few like me who have doubted will be proved wrong. If, however, the Conservatives are not in power by the end of the week, let’s hope others admit they were wrong. Either way, we are perhaps all wrong to second-guess the British electorate.

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By way of a footnote, and in preparation for the inward-looking media recriminations, I would just reiterate that the opinion that Cameron may not become prime minister is not a political or partisan view or hope; it is simply a journalistic judgement. We shall soon see.

UPDATE: Gaby Hinsliff has pointed out that, despite the headline, she doesn’t actually say Brown will lose the election; only that he lost the debates.

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