Predicting outcomes is something we have been doing in my business at Fear Group for 34 years, we do it to locate hot-spots in global economic activity as a background to future group investment. With this in mind I asked our in-house researchers to come up with their prediction for Thursday's General Election and here is the result.
Conservative 279 seats
Labour 269 seats
Liberal Democrats 21 seats
Scottish Nationalists 52 seats
UKIP 2 seats
Greens 2 seats
If our predictions are correct it will be very tough for any party to form a working majority government that will last a full five years. This uncertainty isn't good news for our economy!
A couple of months ago I had lunch with Chukka Umunna, the current Labour Party shadow business minister. It was clear from our conversation over lunch (we paid individually) that Labour want to understand business and enterprise, but whether they truly do is debatable! At least they're trying though.
Funnily enough I think both Russell Brand and Nigel Farage have something in common, and have delivered, different but important, individual aspects to this election, and politics generally.
Russell Brand brings a powerful media voice which he 'says' is outside the system. Personally I'm not sure it is, but regardless of that, with power comes responsibility, so I would encourage him to be both consistent and responsible in delivery of his ideas. Only he can decide what form that should take. Perhaps he should stand for Parliament?
Nigel Farage 'is' standing for election of course and whilst I am certainly not a UKIP supporter I do defend his right to be heard. UKIP have given some people who otherwise may have been persuaded to vote British National Party or for one of the other radical right wing parties, an alternative, and more mainstream, party to vote for. It also enables society to engage with these people in democratic debate rather than driving them underground and making the more radical among them difficult to detect.
In my opinion the democratic Free Enterprise System enjoyed by The United Kingdom for the last couple of hundred years has brought huge wealth to all the countries who have adopted it, and reverting to failed old fashioned and outdated Socialist/Marxist ideologies must be avoided at all costs. Just look at France and Brazil - both socialist and both struggling. The ideology simply doesn't work.
My Mum & Dad both voted Labour & I was brought up living between my Father's one bedroom council flat & my Mothers tiny caravan parked by the river Avon, so I genuinely do understand what it's like to be poor, and to live in a broken home too. Ours was broken big time! As a very young child I spent many very lonely hours alone.
However I have always believed in fairness and balance, which in my opinion is what the coalition has tried to deliver. My Conservative & Labour friends might not like me saying so but the Liberal Democrats have added something very important to governing for the last five years. It's a bit like a cake mix in many ways. You need a bit of spice to give the cake a kick but without the eggs, flour, and sugar, there is no balance and the taste is bitter! The Lib Democrats have added something to the mix and made it a nicer cake. Let's face it, it has worked, so I'm not sure we need a whole new cake!
What would the taste of a cake created and baked by Labour, but with The Scottish National Party trying to control and separate the ingredients (Scotland, Wales, England & Northern Ireland) while the cake is still baking for five long years, really look like or more importantly end up like? I personally feel the taste may be very bitter indeed by 2020!
We have gone from a financially broke & disillusioned economy in 2010 to the fastest growing major economy, except perhaps the United States, in the democratic World! That is quite some achievement. We are outpacing all our European partners, including Germany.
I do agree with Labour that we must create a fairer system of distributing the huge wealth created by free enterprise, but changing the system itself would be ludicrous. It is essential we protect our disabled and vulnerable people. Balance is key, business is vital!
We are fortunate to live in the world's oldest working democracy. One where everyone is allowed to freely voice their opinion and, with the emergence of social media platforms more and more people are engaging in the political debate.
Whichever party wins the most seats deserves a chance to govern. We live in a democracy and any government chosen democratically deserves a chance to run the country without hindrance.