As we ring out 2019 and in the next decade, here are some of my predictions. Like past two years, some will be right and some wrong. Some easy others not so easy.
Predicting what things will look like in a decade is a fool’s errands and probably harder than in past. It’s fair to say politics today looks very different than it did a decade ago and undoubtedly with a changing world will in another decade. But here are a few I can think of.
- In Canada and UK, one or more than one party are able to win seats in areas few would have thought possible and likewise one or more parties safe seats fall. While in Canada this in past decade has largely been limited to wave elections, we saw it in UK with Tories winning many longtime safe Labour seats that a decade ago seemed impossible and likewise Labour imploding in Scotland. By same token despite Labour’s disastrous showing, they were able to win or be competitive in a few seats like Canterbury and Kensington which seemed unthinkable a decade ago.
- In US, between Ohio, Iowa, and Wisconsin, one of them will become a solid red state much the way Missouri was a swing state a decade ago but now solid red. In the next three elections, (2020, 2024, and 2028), Democrats will win Texas at least once. Possible some swing states in sun belt like Arizona and North Carolina become more solidly blue but skeptical, but a decade ago Colorado and Virginia were swing states and at turn of century solid red while now fairly blue.
- The far right manages to win in at least one country in Western Europe while political system becomes more fragmented. Countries where political landscape looks the same as today will be the exception not the norm much like past decade but unlike ones before. Social democratic parties will have wins here and there but will continue to see their situation on balance get even bleaker. Greens will replace them in some, but overall Europe will become more conservative while Canada replaces Europe as the bastion of progressivism and left wing politics.
- Latin America remains volatile lurching from one extreme to another but no guesses on when far right or far left dominates other than both possible.
- Asia is the one continent where things don’t change as much although China becomes more assertive and a greater power globally.
Predictions for 2020
Saskatchewan and Yukon are only provinces/territories where elections are scheduled but with four minority governments provincially and one federally, there could be more. Saskatchewan Party led by Scott Moe is re-elected although loses some ground in Saskatoon and Regina to NDP but due to unpopularity of Trudeau and his willingness to stand up against him, he still wins a solid majority. BC, PEI, Newfoundland, and federal government survive with no election, but New Brunswick government falls and the PCs led by Blaine Higgs get their majority thanks to drop in People’s Alliance. For leadership elections, it is between Ambrose, MacKay, and Polievere for federal Tories, but my prediction is Ambrose gets it although I fear Polievere might as base choses not general electorate and often what base wants is not what appeals to swing voters. In Ontario, Liberals chose Steve Del Duca as leader showing they haven’t learned a thing and thus giving both Horwath and Ford a fighting chance at winning in 2022 albeit still an uphill battle for both, but at least reduces chances of nervous nellies in caucus trying to push either out. In Yukon, don’t really have a clue of how things are going there, but my wild guess is Liberals get re-elected.
Biden is chosen as Democrat leader and Trump wins the general election. Biden wins the popular vote by 4% and picks up Michigan and Pennsylvania while every other state stays the same. The bigger discrepancy between popular vote and electoral college increases calls to change the system, but doesn’t happen. Senate stays Republican as Democrats flip Colorado, but GOP flips Alabama back so no change there. In house, Democrats have a net loss of ten seats, but still hold onto it. For gubernatorial elections, GOP gains Montana, but all other states up for re-election stay the same (only a minority are up in 2020).
Fresh elections are called in Bolivia and right wing wins, but accusations of voter fraud and mass protests by indigenous who mostly vote left wing.
In Eastern Europe, social democrats lose Slovakia, Romania and fail to win in Croatia meaning for the first time since 2004, there is no social democratic party in government east of the Iron curtain of EU member states. In Western Europe, only Ireland goes to the polls and that results in Fine Gael led by Leo Varadkar winning, but still only a minority and once again renews supply and confidence with Fianna Fail. Pedro Sanchez wins investiture as ERC from Catalonia abstains, but government is very fragile and high risk of falling on budget or at least doesn’t make it past 2021. In Austria, OVP-Greens form coalition with Sebastian Kurz once again being youngest leader in Europe and first conservative-Green coalition. Belgium finally forms a government by Fall setting a record and it includes Greens with Liberals being the lead.
Either Rebecca Bailey-Long or Keir Stamer become next Labour leader, my guess being Rebecca Bailey-Long showing they haven’t learned a thing from their massive defeat. Brexit happens on January 31st, but with a trade deal being tough to get, Johnson has to cave and agree to customs union until they can sort one out. Despite uncertainty, UK does better than expected economically defying pundits. In local elections, Tories make gains and Labour loses although one bright spot is in London, Sadiq Khan wins a bigger majority and Labour makes big gains there. For Liberal Democrats, Layla Moran is chosen as new leader so another young female and also first of Palestinian descent.
Asia, Middle East and Oceania
Israel has its third election and is still inconclusive. With voter fatigue, a unity government is formed with Likud in charge, but one condition is they must choose a leader besides Benjamin Netanyahu. In South Korea, Democratic Party is re-elected while in Taiwan DPP wins a bigger majority and Kuomintang suffers worse defeat. In Hong Kong, pro-Beijing parties off course win, but China rigs elections to ensure that happens. In Singapore, DAP wins a landslide as has happened in every election. In New Zealand, National Party led by Simon Bridges wins popular vote but falls short of majority while New Zealand First falls below 4%. As such Labour and Greens form a coalition so Jacinda Ardern remains PM despite losing popular vote although would not be shocked if she is a one term PM. Social democracy is not in the critical state in Australia and New Zealand like in Europe, but unlike Canada, centre-right parties have a natural slight built in advantage. Cannabis and Euthanasia referendums narrowly pass in New Zealand and in many ways it is thanks to this that saves Ardern as this brings out more younger voters who tend to vote for progressive parties as opposed to habitual older voters who heavily favour conservative ones.
2 thoughts on “2020 Political Predictions”
I agree about your predictions re: Pennsylvania and Michigan – the former by less than 1% and the latter by about 5%, with Wisconsin likely a stretch (the toughest of the tossups to flip). Michigan will likely be decided (oddly enough) in SW Michigan around Grand Rapids, which had long been strongly GOP but has become less so, which may offset the Trump strength in the rural part of the state and working class areas. However, I do think Arizona could be one to watch and that would be enough to flip the Presidency. The Hispanic vote is only getting larger there, Trump only won narrowly in 2016 and the Senate seat flipped in 2018. Unlike in Florida (which IMO should be a near repeat of 2016), they seem to be outnumbering retiree growth there too.
I could see the Democratic candidate winning the popular vote by 6 or 7 points and still struggling to pull off the election. The urban areas will likely be even more anti-Trump than in 2016, but they don’t help at all in the grand scheme.
The Senate seems right on the money: net no change as Colorado most likely flips blue and Alabama (almost certainly) flips red. I see no way Doug Jones can hang on in a Presidential year with Donald Trump sitting right above him on the ballot in a state Trump will likely win by 30 or more points. Arizona is next most likely to flip but that still would be GOP +2.
If I ranked the states right now:
Safe Trump – AL, AK, AR, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, MS, MO, MT, NE(+1,3), ND, OK, SC, SD, TN, UT, WV, WY
Likely Trump – OH, TX
Leaning Trump – FL, GA, IA, ME(2), NC, NE(2)
Tossup – AZ, PA, WI
Leaning Dem – ME(overall), MI, MN, NH, NV
Likely Dem – CO, NM, VA
Safe Dem – CA, CT, DE, DC, HI, IL, ME(1), MD, MA, NJ, NY, OR, RI, VT, WA
Generally agree. I think with Michigan and Pennsylvania, higher turnout amongst African-Americans as well as Democrats gaining in suburban areas and their strong showing in midterms makes those favourable. Wisconsin is the toughest since despite being close, it is a lot whiter and a lot more rural than the other two and nowadays rural areas are largely Republican unlike in past. Also Milwaukee suburbs are still strongly GOP unlike Philadelphia and Detroit suburbs. Basically only way Democrats win Wisconsin is like in governor race, run up the margins in Milwaukee County and Dane County while have a strong second elsewhere and I think they will do former, but skeptical on latter.
Fully agree on Arizona and is likely the tipping point state. Otherwise I think Michigan and Pennsylvania will fall to Democrats before Arizona, but Arizona falls before Wisconsin does. Also on Hispanic vote, in Arizona it is mostly Mexican while in Florida its a mix of Cuban and Puerto Rican so in Arizona that heavily favours Democrats but in Florida is a wash as Puerto Ricans go Democrat but Cubans mostly GOP.
Florida I think is a toss up as while agree on surface leans GOP, in 2018 midterms, voters by 60% voted to re-enfranchise non-violent ex convicts so that means 1 million people who couldn’t vote now can and that group is disproportionately African-American males and mostly for drug offences. So that is enough votes to flip the state. The real question is will they show up as that group tends to have a horrible turnout.
North Carolina depends on turnout. Low turnout, Trump holds it as your older white population always votes and they vote heavily GOP, but strong turnout helps Democrats as that means higher turnout amongst African-Americans and millennials who both lean heavily Democrat.
On popular vote you are bang on as in liberal states like California, New York, and Massachusetts I see even bigger Democrat wins (I expect Trump to get under 30% in California while only around 1/3 in New York as he will do well in upstate New York, but clobbered in NYC metro area). By same token in past GOP margin in Texas cancelled out Democrat one in California but this time I suspect with growing Latino and college educated white population, Texas will go for Trump, but probably by only around 3-5 points while California Democrats by over 30. I could see bigger GOP wins in some safe red states, but all of those are very small states population wise like Dakotas, Wyoming so minimal impact on popular vote overall.