As my time at HITC comes to an end, and I move on to new challenges, I’ve take the time to compile a list of seven predictions for the next few years. Predicting politics is a fool’s game. In 2016, I was confident of a win for Hillary Clinton and a vote for remain. However, I did also predicted that there would be a hung parliament at last year’s general election. UKIP were collapsing, and the election was becoming a two-horse race, something that created an environment of either being for or against the Conservatives. In the end - for that election at least - I was right.
With that in mind, here are my predictions (bare in mind that most will probably not come true):
1. There will be an early election
2022 is agonisingly far away. Labour will need to keep challenging the government until it breaks. An election is unlikely to take place before the UK exits the union but be prepared for a vote in 2019 (depending on the new Tory leader) or possibly in 2020 or 2021 after the Brexit transition deal.
Furthermore, a number of by-election losses for the Conservatives could put them on the back-foot and cause them to lose their majority with the DUP sooner than 2022.
2. A Tory leadership challenge in 2019
Theresa May wants to go on and on, but following her disastrous election last year, the walls are closing in on the prime minister. There are likely several eager cabinet members – and Jacob Rees-Mogg – wanting to go for the Tory crown. But now is not the time. The perfect time to strike will be after the UK leaves the EU and transition arrangements are in place. Spring 2019, anyone?
3. There will be no second referendum and the UK will leave the EU
There is a major movement in favour of keeping the UK inside the union, but with one year to go until the UK makes a Brexit, the chances of a vote remain unlikely. That’s not to say that a referendum to re-join won’t be held in the next decade, but time has run out for remainers holding onto their European dream.
4. Labour will win the next UK General Election
The nature of this win is up for grabs. A Labour minority government supported by the SNP, the Liberal Democrats and/or the Greens is a possibility, as is a majority government. Much will depend on who the Tories pick to replace Theresa May, but Labour are the closest to power they have been since 2010.
5. Donald Trump will win the next US Presidential Election
Intuition, common-sense and statistics tell me that Donald Trump will not win in 2020. In fact, the Republicans could even replace him on the ticket.
However, this all indicates that Donald Trump is likely to win as he is a man who constantly defies expectations. And logically, if the “wall” is built, if growth continues and if the Democrats remain divided, he has a realistic shot of winning once again.
Besides, if he does win, it can be said that I predicted it correctly.
6. Vladimir Putin will win March’s Presidential Election
This is a sure thing.
7. At least one other country will hold a referendum to leave the European Union
In the next five years, it’s likely that another EU state will hold a vote to leave the EU. Whether said country votes to go is another thing, but if the UK survives Brexit then precedent will have been set. Possible contenders: France, Poland, Italy and Greece.
However, in the long-run the EU will integrate further and continue to survive.