I haven't visited my old haunt at Political Betting for a couple of weeks, but I finally succumbed to the temptation of having a little peek today to see how the normally triumphalist 'Tory Herd' were coping with the trauma of the apparent collapse in their party's fortunes over such a short period (always assuming last night's ComRes wasn't an early sign of a reversal of that trend). The displays of total denial about the situation didn't disappoint. A particular gem was this comment, part of a long contribution from regular Scottish poster 'Easterross' -
"If there is a Hung Parliament, is it not presumptious to not assume that some LibDems or Labour MPs might jump ship and join the Tories, especially if DC and Team Blue achieve 280+ seats?"
This is indeed a novel concept, that it's actually presumptuous not to assume something. Especially when that something is highly speculative, bordering on the utterly outlandish. Is it presumptuous of me not to assume that Vernon Kay is the next Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster?
Easterross goes on to fall headlong into Benedict Brogan's trap of assuming that anecdotal evidence about what 'real people are telling Tories' somehow completely invalidates the overwhelming evidence of scientifically-conducted opinion polls. I vividly recall a Labour canvasser on Political Betting during the 2007 Holyrood campaign - who I'm quite sure was honestly relating what he was finding on the doorsteps - confidently asserting that his party would comfortably hold Govan, Linlithgow and Livingston in defiance of opinion poll predictions. Well...one out of three wasn't bad.