2016 was the year when forecasters got things not just wrong, but spectacularly wrong. From politics and elections to economic forecasts and sporting events, experts were left with so much egg on their faces the world of commentary resembled a yolky version of La Tomatina.
So to begin 2017 with some predictions is perhaps, as Sir Humphrey would suggest, ‘brave.’ However, we at Nudge Factory have never shied away from courageously sharing our views and opinions, so, just for fun, here are five predictions for the coming year.
1. Jeremy Corbyn stands down as Labour leader
Regardless of whether there is a snap General Election or not, Jeremy Corbyn will stand down leading to the third Labour leadership election in as many years. If a snap election is called, Labour look likely to be punished heavily and in the resulting recriminations he will be compelled to go. If there is no snap election, Labour are likely to continue to languish in the polls and as the year draws on Corbyn will himself come to the realisation he will have to go. However, if it is the latter version, he will do so only after doing his utmost to ensure his successor will continue to move the party leftwards, resulting in yet more self-immolation throughout the Labour Party.
2. There will be no snap General Election
Theresa May will be sorely tempted, partly because of Labour’s dire poll ratings and especially if Conservative MPs start fighting like ferrets in a sack over the type and speed of Brexit. However, her instincts will be to get on with the job and make things work, and to avoid creating more confusion and disunity that an election will create. Expect Article 50 to be triggered, albeit with some bruising encounters with the Lords. Watch out for a Cabinet resignation over the nature of Brexit (maybe Liam Fox if it is not ‘clean’ enough for his liking) which may, in turn, lead to the rehabilitation of Michael Gove, should he not decide to resign as an MP and become Editor of the Times.
3. Marine le Pen will not become President of France
She will make the run off, and maybe even lead the polls in the first round of voting. Ultimately, however, the French will opt for a more stable course, with Francois Fillon emerging as winner. Having said that, a positive, optimistic, insurgent campaign from Emmanuel Macron might put the cat amongst the pigeons. Elsewhere in Europe, Putin will allow newly inaugurated President Trump some breathing space before testing his resolve over NATO later in the year with manufactured crises on the Alliance’s eastern borders.
4. Boris Johnson causes a diplomatic incident
This is not so much a prediction as a guaranteed inevitability (if you’ll excuse the tautology). The only question is on how large a scale it will turn out to be? Will the attempted apology make things worse?
5.Leicester City to win the Champions League…but get relegated from the English Premier League.
This one is a little out there. But Leicester have had a nightmare season interspersed with signs that they can still win against good teams every now and again. If that form continues they well be heading towards relegation from the Premiership, but a knockout competition might be possible. And if they could win a knockout competition, why not the biggest? To be honest, we quite fancy seeing Real Madrid, Barcelona or Juventus getting spanked by the lowly Foxes. So maybe this is more of an aspiration than a prediction.