In this week’s issue of The Spectator, Nick Timothy writes exclusively about why the Tory campaign was a failure. Theresa May’s former chief of staff says that nobody in CCHQ was prepared for the exit poll which predicted a hung Parliament. He recounts how Lynton Crosby said the party would ‘do well’ while Jim Messina’s modelling suggested they ‘would win 371 seats, giving us a majority of 92’.
So, Mr S was curious to read a piece in today’s Evening Standard. The paper – which is edited by George Osborne – paints a rather different story. ‘Officials familiar with Messina’s work’ tell the Standard that Messina actually (correctly) predicted a hung Parliament – not a majority of 92:
‘In his Spectator article, Timothy blamed the consultants by claiming their numbers were wrong. He said there was “a late projection, based on data from the ground and Jim Messina’s modelling, [that] suggested we would win 371 seats, giving us a majority of 92.” This has baffled officials familiar with Messina’s work, who say his last projection was the one a week earlier that pointed to 304 seats — 22 short of a majority.’
However, Mr S suspects that Messina may want to take a look at his own Twitter timeline. Just over a week before the election, Messina took to social media to ridicule YouGov for forecasting… a hung Parliament:
— Jim Messina (@Messina2012) May 31, 2017
Unless Messina was laughing at the poll’s accuracy, it’s peculiar that he would send such a message if his own internal polling suggested a similar outcome…