Mr Rajapaksa’s popularity is slipping. The SLFP won provincial elections in the southern province of Uva in September less comfortably than expected. At the last presidential poll in 2010, soon after the war, Mr Rajapaksa took 57% of the votes (less if you accept claims of modest rigging), so not a landslide. Assume that Tamils, Muslims and Christians, who are 30% of the electorate, mostly prefer Mr Sirisena, then even a third of the Sinhalese vote could swing it in his favour. The stars still probably favour the president, but horoscopes often disappoint.