'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Thursday, 6 September 2012

So everyone. How did the professional reshuffle predictors do?

So, as many of you will know, I tracked every piece of press speculation since May on the reshuffle – kindly plugged by Andrew Sparrow in The Guardian on Monday – and now… the results are in.

So how did the pundits do? Between them, did they predict every position?


Here is the new Cabinet. It only includes members of the full cabinet, not folk ‘attending only’.

Green indicates someone, somewhere since May predicted the name in the role correctly

Red indicates that no one predicted the name in the role….

Prime Minister            David Cameron
Deputy PM                 Nick Clegg
Chancellor                  George Osborne
Foreign Secretary        William Hague
Home Secretary           Theresa May
Chief Secretary            Danny Alexander
Defence                       Philip Hammond
Health                          Jeremy Hunt
Justice                         Chris Grayling
Scotland                      Michael Moore
Wales                          David Jones
Northern Ireland         Theresa Villiers
Business                      Vince Cable
Environment                Owen Paterson
Energy                         Ed Davey
Leader, Lords              Lord Strathclyde
Party Chairman            Grant Shapps
Communities                Eric Pickles
Work & Pensions        Iain Duncan Smith
Transport                     Patrick McLoughlin
Int Development          Justine Greening
DCMS                         Maria Miller

So - 6 departments have leaders who NO ONE in the media knew would be in post. Which I find quite extraordinary. Two - Lord Strathclyde and our own Michael Moore- were the incumbents!

What's more, it was almost 7. No one tipped Vince to stay in Business until Monday Lunchtime. 

Which I guess goes to show that predicting re shuffles is very difficult.

And that the media don't have as much of the inside track as you might think


  1. Can I just say that I said all along that Mike Moore would be fine....:-)

  2. And, with reference to Lord Strathclyde, there were no rumours to the effect that he was likely to be removed. The absence of any comment prior to the reshuffle should rather be taken as an unwritten assumption by all and sundry that he wasn't going anywhere.

    On a personal note, has British politics got to the point whereby public declarations that someone is safe in their job are a necessity? In football, the public vote of confidence is normally dreaded as a precursor for the sack. I am bemused by the suggestion that politics is somehow different.

  3. Actually Mark I did read that Lord Howard was being tipped to become Leader of the Lords (although that piece didn't mention Strathclyde being sacked specifically so I didn't include him on my 'tipped to leave' list.

    I mentioned when the incumbent was tipped to stay because so often other folk were tipped to get their job. So In Michael's case, I read several times of folk who 'would' be made the new Scottish Sec, but not once that he would keep it. The closest was a piece stating that all 5 LD members of the cabinet would stay in cabinet, but not necessarily in post.

    But I take your point about the 'vote of confidenece' thing - which is why I didn't include names on the list if a politician said someone was safe (including Cameron) - it was only if the media tipped it.

  4. Can I say Reporting Scotland on Monday night whilst they tipped Ming Campbell for the job, they also heard that inside people were saying Michael was staying. So i think to say nobody guessed Moore would stay is maybe a tad unfair even if it was late.

    also who tipped Hunt for Health?

  5. Ah, fair enough, but I was only tracking press and web speculation. And I stopped Monday evening as it had started.... :-)