Wednesday 30 December 2015

2016 Politics Predictions

Dare I tip my tippy toes into the waters of idle speculation again? As Adam Bienkov notes, most political punditry is utter rubbish, having called the general election, the Labour leadership election, and the general election, the Labour leadership election, and the Oldham by-election totally wrong. Looking back over last year's forecasts, I'm almost as useless as they. Almost.

As we know, Labour came nowhere near to being the biggest party, and the dear leader as was may as well have etched a eulogy to his career on the bizarre and unlamented EdStone. As a consequence the other big prediction, that David Cameron would no longer be the leader of the Tories, turned out to be mistaken as well. Shame. Still, the one thing I did get right was my forecast about UKIP. I said they were looking at between 12 and 13% and, lo and behold, 12.6% is what they got. I also said they would win a single seat - Carswell's - and again the antennae were correct. And yes, I was right about the infighting as well. So that's a better result than pundits who get paid to write this sort of nonsense. And, of course, I was right about the far left getting nowhere. But asserting such doesn't require anything in the way of special insight or a detailed scrutiny of their doings.

Okay then. I've got out my astrology chart. Let's see what 2016 has in store for our Westminster friends.

Dave will successfully "renegotiate" Britain's position in the EU
We all know that this isn't terribly serious, which is why Dave is asking for so little. Sure there's argy-bargy now over social security eligibility, but this is very minor in the grand scheme of thinks. We know that Dave doesn't really want to renegotiate, and neither do European governments with better things to do with their time. Dave therefore is aiming for a quick result and then a quick referendum - he doesn't want to see the agony of the Tory party fighting itself drawn out. So if matters are concluded quickly, it's reasonable to expect the referendum in the Autumn - preferably before people at Tory party conference get the opportunity to commit hari kari in front of the cameras. Oh yes, and stay will win.

Jeremy will still be leader this time next year
As I've previously written, Jeremy's position is nigh-on impregnable. No amount of front bench resignations or revelations from the past are going to shift him. The only thing that can is if the bulk of the membership turn against him, and short of being found out as a tax-dodging city slicker with huge private health, fracking, property portfolios, and a stake in the Murdoch empire, that isn't going to happen. The only outside chance of an early defenestration are the results of the London, the Scottish, and the council elections. Already pundits are throwing around suggestions that a rout ooop north is likely, along with the loss of some 200 seats in the locals. Those would be bad results, but I don't think they would do for Jeremy. Only if the outcomes are utterly catastrophic (anything north of 400) would we see the leader take to the window ledge. And I don't think they will be. Labour will perform poorly in Scotland, as expected. But not as bad in England as is presently feared (it might even surprise as local party after local party run highly localised campaigns because they believe their local record to be more of an asset than the leader), and I also think Labour's going to win the London mayoralty.

And that's all I'm prepared to stick my neck out about because, at least where Westminster watching is concerned, this is where the action is concentrated for the next 12 months. That's it. Enjoy what's left of 2015!


Anonymous said...

Given that the tabloids have had 30 years in which to pour poison into the public's ear about the bent bananas of Brussels, I've long believed that one of the main functions of the Prime minister is to avoid an in/out referendum on the EU using all means, legal or not, at their disposal.

However, having painted himself into a corner, Cameron has done the one thing he shouldn't and now nothing, short of parading Merkel's head on a pole across Westminster Bridge, will persuade the public that the EU has been tamed and that we should vote to remain.

No concession will be good enough to avoid being swept aside by the antis. No warning from the pros will be clear enough to overcome the shrill clarions of the Sun, the Mail and Express.

And don't expect too much help from the left; Merkel's crushing of Syriza thwarting the democratic will of the Greeks has ensured that many, possibly including myself, may also vote to leave to preserve the integrity of our democracy. And that's a sentence I never thought I'd be typing a year back.


asquith said...

Do you envisage, in fact, a Labour revival in Scotland, of sorts?
Which side will Jezza come down on in this EU referendum of yours? I'll probably be voting to stay in, I know there was a lot of tension because Jezza like a lot of ultra-leftists is sceptical to outright anti-EU, and it's not impossible that he'd vote out or some of his hitherto supporters would break with him if he opted for staying in.

I have to say that as a liberal, and a non-socialist green, I'm warming to Zac Goldsmith, I've been known to read his magazine. And if he gets elected I'll be after reading his books.

jim mclean said...

asquith said... There will be a Labour revival in Scotland, unfortunately after the holyrood elections.

Anonymous said...

Remember the Welsh Assembly elections as well in May.

While Labour should manage to hold on to power (with Plaid), UKIP are on track to get 8 or9 seats in the Assembly for the first time.

John R

WelshnotBritish said...

Anon 19:51

If Plaid prop up Labour again then they are well and truly finished and they know it.

Unless the valleys suddenly has a major wake up call and they stop voting Labour for the first time in almost a century then we'll see a minority Labour government again. It's depressing but hard to see anything changing soon.