Letter: Swings and roundabout results

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ANTHONY Heath, Roger Jowell and John Curtice claim that 'without an unprecedented and improbable swing' the Labour Party cannot win the next election outright ('How did Labour lose in '92?', 29 May).

The history of elections is littered with examples of the improbable and unprecedented, as the current Italian Prime Minister and any Canadian Conservative will testify. The following lines (coined by a famous economist) should be engraved on every psephologist's soul.

'A trend is a trend is a trend,

The question is - will it bend

Will some unforeseen force

Knock it off course

And bring it to a premature end?'

Ivor Morgan