It has been described as one of the most popular awards in this year's New Year Honours List, the knighthood for Strathclyde professor and elections analyst John Curtice.
I first met John when he was a postgraduate at Nuffield and we had some interesting conversations about Cornish politics (which is where he comes from). Over the years I have always found him a most amiable and courteous individual, ready to listen to my relatively amateurish views on elections. In particular it was always pleasant to encounter him at APSA congresses in the British Politics Group.
He did well to stick to his guns with his surprise forecast in this year's general election, but the methodology of the exit poll has been refined over the years. However, it needed a calm inner confidence to keep to his prediction in the face of doubting politicians.
John devotes some of his spare time to his allotment, a very worthy hobby.