In the end the Indian voter had the last laugh. In the last edition of Prospect I wrote an essay about the chances of Mayawati, a regional dalit politican in northern India, surprising everyone to become India’s next prime minister. Along with many other commentators, and all the self appointed experts, I had thought we were heading for a repeat of the fragmented results of 1998, 1999 and 2004, if only worse. The spectre of the Third Front in power—a ragtag alliance of small parties with only the idea of anti-Congress, anti-BJP coalition to unite it—alarmed the financial markets. But in the event they, along with the rest of us, need not have worried. And it was certainly a stunning result.