Twenty-sixteen was a very interesting year politically, seeing many victories by ‘the people’ over ‘the elite’. The UK voted narrowly to leave the EU and Theresa May was elected Prime Minister by Andrea Leadsom. The US failed to elect its first female President, instead opting for someone with no political experience.
Twenty-seventeen is unlikely to see a return to boring times, with Brexit negotiations commencing after Article 50 is triggered, elections in France and Germany, and Trump’s first year in office, in addition to continuing conflicts in the Middle East.
At the end of the year I will review my predictions. Each outcome will be scored with its self-information (measured in bits), , with a low result being better. I will also attempt to assess calibration across predictions.
German Federal Election
Angela Merkel’s CDU have been losing ground in the opinion polls for the last 18 months (which neatly mirrors the increased poll share for Alternative für Deutschland), but are still on track to be the largest party in the Bundestag. The SPD have lost some ground in the last 12 months, mirrored by the rise in the polling average for the Green Party. Current polling suggests all these parties, as well as the FDP and the Left Party will exceed the 5% threshold required to be allocated seats in the Mixed Member Proportional system.
The three previous coalitions have been CDU—FDP (2009–2013) and CDU—SPD (2005–2009 and 2013–present). Angela Merkel would be most keen to reform a coalition with the FDP, while Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) would potentially seek to form a coalition with the Green and the Left parties. Both major parties would be keen to avoid a coalition with AfD. Current polling puts both CDU—FDP and SPD—Left—Green at 40–45% and AfD at 10–15%.
My predictions are therefore:
- CDU—SPD±FDP: 70%
- CDU—FDP: 10%
- SPD—Left—Green: 15%
- Other (CDU): 3%
- Other (SPD): 2%
Putting Angela Merkel continuing in the role of Chancellor at 83%.
French Presidential election
Socialist Party candidate
The race to be the Socialist Party candidate is being led by Manuel Valls and Arnaud Montebourg. Based on current polling, Valls is expected to lead in the first round, but more voters for other candidates are expected to split to Arnaud Montebourg in the second round, making it a close run thing.
- Manuel Valls: 53%
- Arnaud Montebourg: 45%
- Other: 2%
Presidential election first round
Predicted top two in first round:
- Socialist Party candidate and Marine Le Pen (Front National): 3%
- Socialist Party candidate and François Fillon (Republican): 2%
- Socialist Party candidate and Emmanuel Macron (Independent/En Marche): 1%
- François Fillon and Marine Le Pen: 82%
- François Fillon and Emmanuel Macron: 8%
- Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron: 3%
- Other: 1%
Presidential election second round
- François Fillon: 63%
- Marine Le Pen: 27%
- Emmanuel Macron: 7%
- Manuel Valls: 1%
- Arnaud Montebourg: 1%
- Other: 1%
A grab-bag of predictions from most likely to least likely:
- Jeremy Hunt still Health Secretary at end of the year: 90%
- Labour hold Leigh by-election triggered after Andy Burnham elected Mayor of Greater Manchester: 80%
- Labour lose Copeland by-election: 70%
- New Foreign Secretary by end of the year: 60%
- Number of Conservatives in the House of Lords increases from 255 to over 280: 50%
- A serious attempt to unseat Corbyn by end of the year: 40%
- Theresa May conducts significant reshuffle (changes to 4 or more Cabinet positions): 30%
- Simon Stevens stands down as chief executive of NHS England: 20%
- New Labour leader by end of the year: 10%