Looking back at my 2018 predictions

There’s still a few days until the year ends, but I don’t think that makes much of a difference to the predictions I made back in January. Let’s see how well they turned out, shall we?

  1. There won’t be a General Election or referendum in the UK this year during 2018, but we’ll likely be in the run-up to one by the time New Year’s Day 2019 comes around.

Well, I was definitely right on the first part, and even if we’re not officially in the run-up to either a General Election or referendum, there is a strong likelihood of one, the other or both in the early part of 2019.

2. All the main party leaders will be the same this time next year. May will be about to face a challenge, Corbyn will be secure, and Cable will be facing the sort of whispering campaign to get rid of him that he participated in against other leaders.

Well, I should have stopped that one at the first sentence. All three are still there, May has already faced a challenge, while Corbyn still has a whispering campaign, and Cable short-circuited the one against him by pre-announcing his post-Brexit departure.

3. Corbyn and McDonnell will have a falling out that leads to McDonnell being sacked/demoted and a new Shadow Chancellor being appointed. Someone will non-ironically say that McDonnell had to go because he was too centrist.

Completely wrong on this one, though worth noting that McDonnell does seem more willing to give ground on Brexit and the idea of another referendum than Corbyn is.

4. Several new ‘centrist’ parties will be established. None of them will have any lasting impact a week after they’re formed/announced.

I think this one is wrong, as there’s been a lot of talk of new parties but none actually officially formed/launched. Or, the whole prediction was so accurate, they’ve all been wiped from our memories.

5. There’ll be a lot of short-term happenings in British politics that seem very important at the time, but will be barely remembered at the end of the year. Indeed, at the end of the year, things will look relatively similar to how they are now, with lots of looming problems still consigned to the ‘too difficult’ pile.

Again, should have stopped at the end of the first sentence. I suppose there are lots of things in the ‘too difficult’ pile still, it’s just that people are now very aware that pile has become so big its blocking out all the light.

6. Trump will still be in office at the end of the year, but not in power. Either officially via the 25th Amendment or unofficially via Kelly and Mattis exerting more control over the White House, Trump will become more of a figurehead for his administration rather than actually leading it.

Completely wrong on this, and actually named the people who ended up quitting because Trump is now fully in charge of his administration.

7. Spain and Catalonia will agree a formula for the latter to have a recognised independence referendum.

Wrong again. I’m not too briliant at this prediction game, am I?

8. Shortly before the new series of Doctor Who starts, some of the most egregious arseholes on the internet will come together to stage a series of increasingly weird protests about a woman playing the Doctor. It’ll be near impossible to talk about the series online without them jumping onto any conversation with a series of inexplicable hashtags, but this won’t stop the new series getting the sort of mainstream critical attention and public awareness it hasn’t had for a decade.

Well, there were protests and complaints but it didn’t metamorphosise into anything particularly weird. Though what’s normal fan complaint for 2018 (seriously, how do people have the time to watch these hours-long YouTube whinges?) would have seemed incredibly weird a few years ago. And it did get the mainstream attention and awareness it’s lacked for years, with the best ratings since David Tennant left, and a very prominent slot on New Year’s Day.

9. But Star Trek: Discovery will have the ‘oh my word, did you see that?’ shock of the year (and that’s pure speculation, not a spoiler)

The latter half of the first series was a series of big reveals, most of which gave Jason Isaacs the opportunity to chew even more scenery, but the big TV shock of the year was probably the end of the third episode of Bodyguard.

10. France will win the World Cup. Lots of people will get over-excited about England’s chances after a couple of decent performances take them to the quarter-finals.

Well, I’m better at international sports predictions than I am at international politics ones. Shame I forgot that prediction when I put money on Belgium to win in June, though. And I missed the probably unpredictable development that the Nations League would actually turn out to be quite a useful innovation.

11. Wolves will win the Championship (I’m aware that’s as much a statement of fact as it is a prediction, but I still like to say it) and all three promoted sides will be from the same area as one of the relegated Premier League teams (Wolves for West Brom, Cardiff for Swansea and Bristol for Bournemouth)

Two out of three here. Missed Bristol’s second-half slump that meant they didn’t even make the playoffs while Fulham surged into them, and Stoke finally fell out of the Premier League while Bournemouth appear to be thriving there now. As for the location swap, Fulham for Stoke doesn’t really work, but we could say that both Stoke (as a Staffordshire team) and West Brom (as a Black Country one) were replaced by Wolves.

12. The Winter Olympics will be overshadowed by lots of sabre-rattling between Trump and Kim Jong-Un. Several countries will recall their athletes during the Games because of threats from North Korea.

This time I let the international politics speculation mess up the international sports one. Another miss.

13. Blog posting here will continue to be sporadic, coupled with several times when the site stops working for no readily apparent reason.

As ‘here’ was referring to my website, rather than Medium, this has turned out to be sadly accurate.

So, around a 50% accuracy rate, but the ones I got right were the ones that were relatively easy, while the ones I got wrong were pretty bad misses. And as yet, no predictions as to whether I’ll be making any 2019 predictions over the next few days.

Many, many things. PhD student at QMUL. Former politician. Ran the 2019 London Marathon for Brain Research UK. @nickjbarlow on Twitter.