THE BLOG

Ten Simple Political Predictions For 2017

25/12/2016 23:27 GMT | Updated 25/12/2016 23:27 GMT
Michael Sohn/AP

At the end of 2015 I made a number of predictions for UK politics (http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/nicholas-mazzei/10-simple-predictions-for_b_8889236.html). Of the ten predictions, around half came true. I was right about Jeremy Corbyn remaining leader of the Labour party and that his popularity in the party would increase. I was right that the Labour vote nationwide would decline and they would lose council seats. I was right that UKIP would become more popular (I'm basing that on polls at the moment, but it certainly isn't less popular than it was 12 months ago). I was half right that Boris Johnson would be moved to a senior post in government, but I never saw that it would be Theresa May doing it and not David Cameron.

I was also quite wrong on a few things. I was utterly wrong about the EU referendum, the Mayoralty in London (Zac lost not one but two elections in 2016 and is no longer an MP) and completely misread the Welsh assembly elections. I haven't checked to see if my bonus prediction on Karen Danczuk getting a job on babe station came true. But do we even really care?!

So, what are my bets for 2017? Well, UK politics has been as interesting as it can get in 2016 so I'll need to expand to include the USA and EU too.

1. There will be no general election in the UK in 2017 - It's just not Mrs May's style. The electorate punishes unnecessary elections and she doesn't really face much opposition in Parliament. Her main issue is Brexit and an election won't solve that issue for her.

2. The US electoral college will make Trump president, but he'll lose a few electoral college votes - despite all the hope around the world that the electoral college will find him unfit, it's unlikely enough Republican members will vote him down, though some will raise an issue with his relationship with Russia and Russian interference. (This has already happened since I wrote this, but I'm gonna keep it in!)

3. Francois Fillon will be elected President of France - Francois is right wing enough to win the current wave of popularism sweeping elections. Marine Le Pen won't make it through the first round.

4. Article 50 will have been invoked, but Brexit will still face major challenges in the British parliament - legal actions will attempt to delay it, but in the end most MPs won't oppose what their constituents have asked for.

5. Corbyn will remain leader of the Labour party, but...

6. ...MPs will begin splitting off from him to form a new party. They'll realise they are doomed in the north if they stick with super pro-immigration Corbyn. They'll also realise Corbyn just isn't going anywhere since the membership of the party was invaded by super hard-left populists. They'll split the vote and in the north Ukip will take the territory. In London, the Lib Dems could take some seats from them but many London seats are very safe Labour.

7. No progress will be made on a UK/USA trade deal, as Trump will be too busy breaking deals instead of making them - Britain might be at the front of the queue, but a queue for nothing is still nothing. Still, this all depends on what Britain is able to do while looking to leave the EU.

8. The Italians will vote to leave the Euro, but won't vote to leave the EU. The EU will hold its integrity for now, but major challenges remain - I'm 50:50 on this one. But something has to give in the EU, and it'll either be Italy or Greece. Greece has lasted this long, so I expect it'll be the Italians.

9. Turkey will leave NATO - The Bromance between Erdogan and Putin is a clear indicator that Turkey no longer has a place in NATO. They'll leave or be kicked out. Unless there is another coup, although that looks highly unlikely.

10. Finally, Boris Johnson won't last another six months as Foreign Secretary. There will be too many conflicts between himself and Theresa May and something will have to give. Mrs May isn't going anywhere, so it'll be Boris. Where he'll go though is anyone's guess.

11. Bonus prediction - Nigel Farage will play a bigger role in US/UK relations than people expect. He won't get a job on babestation though.