Back at the start of the year, I made a few predictions for it, and now we’re at the end of it, I guess it’s time to look back and see just how spectacularly wrong I was, or if I managed to scrape a bare pass. (More generally on predictions, this thread and the document linked in it are of great interest)
Predictions for 2019
Find out what’s probably not going to happen in the next twelve months by seeing what I predict will come to pass.
Let’s start with the British ones:
There will be an extension to Article 50 meaning the UK does not exit the EU at the end of March. This will come about through a complicated diplomatic dance where the EU27 are seen to offer an extension to the UK, rather than the UK requesting one.
Partly right — there definitely was an extension and we didn’t exit at the end of March (and still haven’t) but the “complicated diplomatic dance” didn’t really happen, with reality ending up being more about Parliament asserting its position.
There will be at least one more general election, leading to a result that’s as similarly inconclusive as 2017's.
Again, partly right. There was a general election, but the result was pretty conclusive (at least in terms of seats if not, as always, in votes).
There won’t be any changes in party structures or meaningful new parties announced until after that general election happens.
Correct — there were new parties announced, most notably The Independent Group/Change UK/The Independent Group for Change, but I’d debate how meaningful they turned out to be.
Neither Theresa May nor Jeremy Corbyn will be Prime Minister at the end of the year.
Correct — I didn’t hazard a guess at who would be, which was probably a clever omission.
And now onto the rest of the world…
Macron will remain generally unpopular in France, but the gilets jaunes will have faded away and be remembered as just another protest movement.
Vaguely right — Macron’s ratings are still low, but no lower than anyone else’s in France and while there are currently protests ongoing in France, they’re not especially linked to the gilets jaunes movement.
Merkel will still be Chancellor of Germany at the end of the year, though by that point the Greens will be regularly topping the opinion polls there.
She still is, and the Greens have been riding high in the polls, though are currently more likely to be in a clear second place than leading them.
Trump will be still be in office and (diminishing) power, and will have at least one declared serious challenger for the Republican nomination for 2020.
Well, he’s been impeached, with should be a sign of diminishing power, though the Senate will likely acquit him on a party line vote. And while there are some challengers to him for the nomination, they’re not likely to serious damage his chances of renomination.
There’ll be no clarity on who the Democratic candidate will be, but at least three candidates will have dropped out or decided not to run after leading or being near to the top of the polls.
Not really correct — there have been some high-profile dropouts like Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke, but neither had been consistent leaders, while the race does seem to have narrowed to one between three or four candidates. This is before anyone has actually voted in a primary or caucus, of course.
There’ll be a lot of pieces from people who’ve never been south of the equator about how the Australian election results proves they’re right about what British politicians should do.
Didn’t really happen, surprisingly, probably because our own politics were in such a mess by then, no one was looking abroad. The main lesson from Australia right now appears to be “try not to have a country that’s on fire”, anyway.
And then let’s look at sport:
Liverpool will win the Premier League relatively easily. Wolves will come seventh, but not make it into Europe because a team from outside the top six will win the FA Cup.
Well, in any other year their points total would have been a comfortably victory but instead they came second to Man City. But we can roll that over into this year, right? And Wolves did come seventh, but Man City did for the other part of that prediction too by thumping Watford 6–0 in the FA Cup final.
A French rider will win the Tour de France, and with that, Liverpool and a British player winning at Wimbledon all gone, sports writers will be grasping around for a long-running winless streak to talk about.
Alaphilippe led a lot of the way, and Pinot looked like he had a chance until injury did for him, so that drags on for another year.
Team Sky will get a new sponsor that’s going to make ten years of Murdoch money look like a paragon of ethical sponsorship.
Ineos weren’t quite as bad a choice as I was expecting — this was more expecting them to become the latest team to be used to whitewash a repressive dictatorship — but still not great.
England’s male cricketers and female footballers will get to their World Cup finals, and lose. The male footballers will win the Nations League, making ‘why the Nations League is much harder to win than the World Cup’ a pub sports bore topic of conversation for many years to come.
Completely wrong on that, though if I was a New Zealander, I’d be explaining how England would have lost the final if the rules relating to overthrows had been properly applied.
I’ll complete the London Marathon in under six hours. You’ll all get sick of me posting links to sponsor me long before I get tired of posting them.
Turned out to be six and a half in the end — and the sponsor page has now closed, but you can still read about how it all went
And finally in the media:
Avengers: Endgame will conclude with some form of multiverse being established, probably with a reference to/appearance by the X-Men.
Well, there was talk of alternate universes in the film, and Doctor Strange’s next film is The Multiverse of Madness, but this didn’t come off in the way I thought it would.
Another major national UK newspaper will cease producing a print edition.
Nope, completely wrong on that one. Even The New European appears to still be in print.
Following the election, at least one major party will openly talk about abolishing/majorly reforming the BBC.
I think the only error here was “following”, with the BBC’s election coverage bringing it under attack from all sides, and it — along with Channel 4 — is likely to feature in the next Parliamentary session.
Black Mirror will have an episode that goes out in different versions to different people, but Charlie Brooker et al will spend several weeks denying this is the case.
Didn’t happen, unless the series 5 episodes were so bad at engaging audiences no one found this out. Seriously, the core message of one of them was “isn’t it annoying and distracting when you get a Facebook notification while you’re doing something else?”
How did I do overall? Not too bad on British politics, but much worse on everything else. It probably won’t stop me predicting things for the next year and decade, though at least if I did any predictions for this decade, they’re lost with my old blog where I don’t have to look at just how wrong they were.