Saturday, December 29, 2018

A year of Forecasting dangerously

If you want an indication of just how uncertain and unpredictable the political waters are at the moment you could do better than compare and contrast the two utterly different forecasts of what will happen over the next few months which were put forward on the Political Betting blog as two of their regular posters gave their predictions for 2019.

Both the individuals concerned - Alistair Meeks and David Herdson - are in my opinion very shrewd political observers whose judgement I take seriously and it was striking to read how many issues they take a different view about what is most likely to happen - though both are wise enough to admit that they are only making a judgement call about what they think the most probably outcome, not for a moment claiming to know for certain.

One thinks that Mrs May will eventually get her deal through, the other doesn't.

One thinks that there will be another Brexit referendum, the other doesn't.

One thinks that Britain will leave the EU at the end of March 2019, the other doesn't.

One thinks that there will be a General Election in 2019, the other doesn't.

There are, however, some things that both do agree about

1) It's going to be a dramatic year, but probably not an easy one.

Alistair Meeks writes that

"Whatever happens, large groups of people are going to be appalled by what happens in the coming year. The only question is which groups. The losers, and perhaps any winners, are going to reorganise themselves accordingly. 

At the end of it all, confidence in politics and politicians will be at an all-time low and the country will be more divided than ever before. I’d wish you a happy and prosperous New Year but I’m not expecting that for very many of us. Cheers!"

David Herdson suggests that 2019 will be the most dramatic year in British politics for decades and that

"One of the Christmas cards I received this year wished me a dull, dull 2019, alluding (I hope) to Brexit and the famed Chinese proverb. It will be, I fear, a wish in vain."

On that at least I think both of them are absolutely right.

2) There may be changes in the leadership of Britain's major political parties

Alistair Meeks does not expect either Jeremy Corbyn or Theresa May to still be leader of their respective party at the end of 2019. David Herdson thinks it is likely that at least one, and possibly all three, of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties will change leaders in the coming year.

We shall see!

You can read the predictions from Alistair Meeks here and those from David Herdson here.

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