Reviewing Politics, 2016 Edition

It’s the end of the year, and what better way to end it than to look back on how foolish you were at the start of the year?

You may remember, at the start of the year I wrote my 2016 political predictions. Like many others, I suspect, most of these I now wish I hadn’t, as they turned out to be so badly wrong. So, I thought it would be fun interesting to review them…

Scottish elections
I predicted the SNP would win a majority in the Holyrood elections, that the Conservatives would win more seats than Labour and that the Green Party would win more seats than the Liberal Democrats.

Overall, a good start, I’d say. The SNP didn’t win a majority, of course, although they came very close. I was surprised how many constituencies they lost to other parties – the Liberal Democrats won four and the Conservatives seven, whilst Labour clung on in three.

Winning more constituencies, combined with a slight fall in their share of the list vote, meant they overall lost seats compared with the 2011 elections, although with the Green Party picking up seats overall, their is an overall majority for pro-Indy parties in the chamber.

In the end, the Conservatives did more than make gains on Labour – they passed them, comfortably, although with fewer seats than Labour had in 2011. The results were terrible for Labour, but they’ve not quite reached the bottom yet… that will be in May’s local elections.

The Greens did indeed beat the Liberal Democrats, by one seat. It would have been more, but the Liberal Democrats managed to win four constituency seats. Their local campaigns must have been exceptional, as their campaign nationally was abysmal, and all I remember of it is two randy pigs…

Verdict: Mostly correct.

The EU referendum
 I still don’t really understand this. People don’t usually vote to make themselves poorer, which is what they chose to do in this referendum. I guess, all in all, they decided it was worth it, or that it wouldn’t make them poorer.

More than six months on, we’re still none the wiser what will happen and how it will pan out, but 2017 will give us an idea. How much sovereignty will the UK get back? Is it willing to pay the price, or will it become a poor man’s Norway?

In essence, we settled on an answer to the question, but we still don’t understand the question very much.

Verdict: Abject failure

Jeremy Corbyn
Well, he did survive as Labour leader, but his MPs did try to stick the knife in. They just didn’t succeed, thanks mainly to their National Executive Committee. Once Jeremy was confirmed as being on the ballot paper, he was never going to lose.

Well, apart from those pesky elections outside the internal Labour Party. He’s still losing those. Badly. Although not as badly as the branch office in Scotland…

Verdict: Half-right.

Hillary Clinton
It turns out that whilst none of the Republican candidates were electable, she was even less electable. Quite an achievement really.

That said, I don’t think any other candidate would have lost to Donald Trump. Familiarity and contempt cost her. Any other Democrat candidate probably would have beaten Trump. Would any other Republican candidate have beaten Hillary? No one will ever know.

I still would much rather be seeing Jeb Bush as President-elect, but that ship has sailed.

Verdict: Not completely wrong – the Republican candidate is a crackpot.

London mayoral elections
I was half right on this one. Sadiq Khan was the winner, but it wasn’t the closest election yet. Indeed, it was the largest margin of victory since the first election in 2000 when Ken Livingstone won as an independent.

Verdict: Half-right.

2017 predictions
Let me have a think about that. It might be better to use a fake news generator as it may be just as accurate.

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