My pick of what’s in store for us in 2024 - Alex Cole-Hamilton

Mystic Alex follows Meg's lead and looks into his crystal ball for 2024Mystic Alex follows Meg's lead and looks into his crystal ball for 2024
Mystic Alex follows Meg's lead and looks into his crystal ball for 2024
​I’ve got my crystal ball out again. Regular readers will remember that at this time of year I take a punt at predicting the events that will define the coming 12 months.

It’s just a bit of fun but, uncharacteristically, I actually found myself thinking about writing this particular column back in February.

You see, I have predicted the resignation of Nicola Sturgeon in every set of new year predictions that I’ve made since I was first elected to Parliament.

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Except in my predictions last Christmas. I decided last time that for once, I would give her the benefit of the doubt and predicted she’d stay until at least the general election. More fool me.

That one joins some of my other offerings that also turned out to be mince. Douglas Ross remained unchallenged in his role as Tory leader and the much hoped for Ukrainian counteroffensive failed to press through all the way to the Black Sea.

I wasn’t entirely wrong, though: Trump was indicted, energy prices stabilised and the Tories were trounced in the English local elections.

I predicted that there would be an uprising in Russia and that Putin would be deposed, while the Prigozhin led Wagner coup didn’t topple the regime (I’m counting that as being half right).

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God loves a trier, so here is what I think will happen this year.

1: The general election will be held in April. Wanting to avoid the downward momentum of appalling local elections and a summer of small boat crossings and faced with a parliamentary party that is no longer governable, Sunak will dissolve parliament and visit the King before the clocks go forward.

2: The Tories will lose the election, but Labour’s victory will be smaller than some polls predict. Rishi Sunak will resign as Tory leader and vacate his seat in Parliament. His Richmond constituency will be won by a Lib Dem in the subsequent by-election. Proving what Sir John Curtice says about the Lib Dems making ‘the spectacular look routine.’

3: The SNP will suffer their worst general election in over a decade, they may even be reduced to single digits in terms of MPs returned to the House of Commons.

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4: Failing to achieve the magic 29 MPs that Humza Yousaf had defined as a mandate for an independence referendum, he will resign as First Minister of Scotland. He will be succeeded by Kate Forbes. This in turn will see high profile SNP members and parliamentarians resign from the party.

5: Trump will win the Republican nomination for President of the US but will lose the presidential election itself.

6: Joe Biden will win a second term in office but will not complete it, resigning due to ill health seeing Kamala Harris installed as America’s first female President (okay, that might not happen in the next 12 months, but you get the idea).

7: The Armed Forces of Ukraine will consolidate the bridgehead they’ve established on the East Bank of the Dnipro River and that will lay the ground for the most effective Ukrainian counteroffensive since the start of the war.

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8: Scotland will make it out of the group stages in the European championships in Germany.

Some of this is wishful thinking, some of it I’m pretty sure about. Time will tell.

Happy New Year when it comes.

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