DIARY: McLeod to pop champagne cork as Election 2001 competition winner

Stand up and punch the air with joy, Jon McLeod. Weber Shandwick

Worldwide's senior director of public affairs last week emerged as the

recipient of a PRWeek bottle of bubbly for winning our election

competition announced way back in February.

The postponement of the 3 May polling day because of foot-and-mouth -

together with Prescott's punch, Hague's implosion, and the

anti-climactic outcome - led to a longer than usual gap before McLeod

was able to claim his prize.

We asked five prominent public affairs gurus to use their undoubted

political nous to predict the size of Labour's long-expected winning


The winner by a long chalk was McLeod, who predicted Labour would romp

home with 134 - still 35 short of the outcome, but an impressive guess,


Meanwhile, McLeod's rivals were left with a splash of yolk on their


AS Biss chairman Adele Biss plumped for 93, politicsdirect.com founder

and director John Arnold put his weight behind 93, McErlean consulted

with the experts of APCO before plumping for a meagre 90, while Connect

Public Affairs's Gill Morris predicted - ouch! - 73.

Such short-sightedness. Morris now claims that much had happened since

she gave her prediction. 'Given the chance, I would have changed it once

3 May was off,' she claims. Alas, not wishing to sound too much like

Camelot, rules are rules.

She did, however, warn of a low turnout, and conceded: 'I'll just have

to eat my hat.' McLeod, on the other hand, will soon be sipping bubbly.

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