#GE2015: Scary, exciting and unpredictable

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This year’s election is said to be the hardest one to call since the Second World War. In this short video, Dr Will Davies, joint director of the Political Economy Research Centre (PERC) at Goldsmiths, explains why such unpredictable forces have been unleashed.

“The first thing to say about this year’s election is that it’s said to be the hardest one to call since the Second World War. This is quite a challenge for social scientists, political theorists, and political scientists most of all because they like to believe they know what’s going to happen next.

"A lot of social theory and political theory and economic theory is based on the idea that the future is predictable and knowable, and that various visions of – whether it be history, or models of risk or theories about political changed – can be used in order to know where things are going, to know what’s going to happen next. 

“This election challenges all of that. It forces us to recognise that politics and democracy are fundamentally unstable, unknowable entities, and in a way it’s very healthy, I think, in politics that we don’t actually have a clue what’s going to happen.

“Even after 2008, which was the great crisis of financial capitalism of recent decades, British politics still felt relatively predictable. I think now we’re finally seeing the impact of that economic crisis on our political situation and it’s unleashing all sorts of unpredictable forces which we simply can’t model or reasonably predict in any rational or statistical way.”

Dr Will Davies - Is the election scary, exciting and unpredictable?