Poor Nick Speed. Trying desperately to give the impression on the Six-o-clock news that the NOP poll conducted for ITV told us anything we didn't know already. It was precisely the same as I've been predicted for months. Which is rather good news for the Conservatives.
We all know that Labour is doing badly and the suggested 25 seats is all they can reasonably expect. I think they will slip back some more yet - principally because of the outrageously undemocratic way that Brown is fixing his own 'coronation'. And we have all listened to Plaid Cymru's rather amusing predictions of 17 seats, which has been based on no evidence whatsoever. No-one has believed their rubbishing of the Tories. It has just made them look out of touch. The suggested 12 looks about right. And as for Mike German's talk of 12 seats - well, we've all had a good laugh about that. The only party leader who has been telling it straight is Nick Bourne. We know that we are doing reasonably well post-Cameron and 14 seats is about where we are at present. All of this looked predictable.
What's interesting is where we will go from here - and here are my predictions. I think Labour will slip back a touch more. Not so much because of their record but the sheer arrogance of Rhodri Morgan. Today, he has defied the electorate to vote him out, by talking of his retirement in the face of a bad result. He actually thinks his threat to retire will frighten people to vote Labour. Completely barking! And voters are beginning to smell the putrid stink associated with Labour's gerrymandering of the voting system by banning dual candidacy. There will be no justice unless Rhodri has gone in two months time. It will be the price he pays for trying to 'fix' the vote. I think Plaid might sneak on one - and I cannot see the Lib Dems improving on 7 seats while Mike, Lembit and Ming are leading the party down a blind alley. Which leaves us.
I've been saying for a while that anything less than 14 is a poor result for us and anything better than 14 is a great result. I know that things can change - but its looked like that for months. Well, I think we can do a bit better than that now. The Labour Party is in free fall and deservedly so. I've given up discussing what sort of coalition all this might lead to, until after the May 3rd poll. But I'm going down to the Black Lion in Berriew for supper tonight with a smile on my face. Things are going OK for the Welsh Conservatives.