Predictions. It’s a mug’s game really and having failed totally on all my political bets for 2010 – apart from a spectacular gain on an Ed Miliband win – the burd has absolutely no track record whatsoever on this front.
But hey, it’s a bit of harmless fun, right? And thank goodness there are no tartan bollocks awards for bloggers. Yet…
So here is a burdz eye view on the year ahead:
- The Scottish Budget will pass at the first attempt. Make no mistake, there will be much huffing and puffing from the Opposition parties but they will baulk at blowing the SNP’s house down so close to an election. No one will want to enter the campaign with a reputation for fiscal irresponsibility on their report card. They will all abstain and claim the moral high ground. It will make headlines, a few of us might even blog on it, but ultimately voters won’t care.
- Labour will hold the most seats after the Holyrood election but won’t form the next administration. I don’t think it’s the walk in the park for Labour that the polls currently predict. As blogged in 2010, it all comes down to about 20 marginals and roughly three key voter groups whose votes will swing it. And on the list seats, the Lib Dems occupy as many vulnerable last places as the SNP. Both Labour and the SNP will gain seats from the the Lib Dems, the Conservatives will end up more or less as they began, the Greens will make some gains but not enough to achieve the much vaunted breakthrough (sorry @twodoctors) and while Labour will gain a few constituency seats from the SNP, the SNP will recoup those losses through the regional votes.
- The SNP will remain in government, with the support of the Conservatives in return for baubles. More committee convenors than their numbers deserve, a depute presiding officer, possibly even a Ministerial without portfolio invented post. But no one will dare call it a coalition. Apart from Labour of course.
- The unholy alliance with the Tories will prompt a resurgence of the left in the SNP. Kenny MacAskill, Keith Brown and Angela Constance will emerge as the ring leaders. Though this might just be the burdz wishful thinking.
- The UK coalition government will last at least another 12 months. Heaven help us all.
- The first UK Minister to resign on conscience grounds will be a Conservative not a Liberal Democrat. And it will be on Europe, or AV, or reform of the Lords, or some other nonesuch issue.
- The UK will vote no in the AV referendum – but Scotland and Wales will vote yes. Another constitutional nail will have been driven into the United Kingdom’s coffin, but it won’t be anything like enough to seal the box.
- Wales will vote yes in its referendum for legislative powers for the Assembly. Hurrah!
- Tavish Scott will resign as Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and will be replaced by Margaret Smith. Scotland will not only have another woman leading a party but also the first lesbian woman to lead a party. Some will gnash and wail; others, including the burd, will cheer at a triumph for diversity.
- Iain Gray and Ed Miliband will survive the year in their respective leadership posts. Gray’s performance will be seen as good enough to survive and in any event, no one will have the stomach for a fight this far out from 2015. Labour winning the Oldham East by-election this month will be the start of a turnaround for Miliband. He will use the goodwill this buys him to silence the Balls-Cooper axis. In spectacular fashion. They will slink off and Miliband’s authority will be assured until the General Election.
- Scotland will not qualify for the Euro 2012 finals. As usual, we will be there or thereabouts right to the last, prompting much unjustified optimism, as usual, and hope that this time will be our time. As usual, we will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
- Celtic will claim the SPL title on the last day of the season (thanks to a controversial refereeing decision elsewhere), Hearts will nearly finish second and the mighty Killie will finish fourth. This will cause the burd to get very, very drunk and cry.
- A Scottish band will win the Mercury Prize. I’d like to think it will be the Sexual Objects, but more likely to be Broken Records or Kid Canaveral.
- A Scottish newspaper title will fold. Sadly. It might be the Scottish outpost of a UK title aka the Sunday Times last year. Sad as that would be, it would be preferable to a wholly Scottish title going. But that is a distinct possibility. If the Herald gets hit by a long drawn out strike, its owners might just give up and walk away.
- We will have a heatwave summer. Hotter even than 1976 which the burdz bairns (and no doubt others) are convinced is a figment of their mammy’s overly febrile imagination. There will be a drought, the Greens will get all shouty, but no one will care. We’ll all either be too busy enjoying it or moaning, just as we did about the snow.