Yesterday, I had a look back at my HE predictions for 2012, how did I do with politics?
1. All 3 UK party leaders will remain in post
Score. They all are.
2. Ken Livingstone will win the London mayoral election; giving Ed Miliband a much needed mid-year boost
3. Nick Clegg will finish the year with his and Lib Dems’ highest poll numbers since they joined the coalition
Correct. They are hovering at around 13%, while not impressive in itself that figure is higher than at any point since the post-General Election crash.
4. There will be a reshuffle mid-year, but it won’t bring much change. Cheryl Gillan, Caroline Spellman and Andrew Lansley will go and be replaced by Maria Miller, Theresa Villiers and another Conservative woman newly introduced to the House of Lords. (if Chris Huhne is charged for that speeding stuff, he will be replaced by Norman Lamb, otherwise Lib Dems sit tight)
A half point for this I surely! Gillan and Spellman did go. But Lansley stayed (albeit in a much lower profile role), they were replaced by Maria Miller and Theresa Villiers. Chris Huhne was charged but wasn’t replaced by Norman Lamb in his cabinet post, however he was brought in to Government as a consequence.
5. There will be a lot of huffing and puffing over Europe, but the UK will continue to wield a veto on treaty changes so no referendum will be required
Lots of huffing and puffing, some veto threats. No real change.
6. House of Lords reform will be scuppered by an alliance of Conservative MPs and Clegg hating Labour MPs
I think this is the prediction I am most smug about! Conservative MPs were never really in favour of this and Labour decided it hated Nick Clegg more than it wanted reform.
7. More and more celebrities will tell the Leveson inquiry about their terrible put-upon lives, and the whole thing will lose sight of the genuinely gross abuses that have been inflicted on innocent people
Hard to quantify this really. But the Leveson inquiry was driven off track by a stream of attention seek celebrities and lost sight of its core purpose, how to deal with criminality in journalism. It was never meant to be about regulating the press.
8. Nicolas Sarkozy will be re-elected as President of France
Ouch. I think he lost by something like 58% to 42%!
9. Neither Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich will be the Republican nominee for President
I think I just shouldn’t predict election results!
10. Barack Obama will be re-elected and it will be a much closer election than we expect (one day we Brits will realise that Americans don’t see things the same way as us!)
On the other hand, maybe I should. It was close, but still relatively comfortable for Obama.
11. Vladimir Putin will be re-elected and crack down on protesters in Russia in a brutal and shocking manner
Not really an election prediction anyone could get wrong. But the Pussy Riot business makes it clear that Putin will not stand for opposition!
12. Nobody will start a war with Iran (again!)
So I make that 8 ½ out of 12.