2021 Political predictions

Below are my predictions for 2021. Off course a lot of caveats as how the rollout of vaccine goes could play a big role and those who handle it well should benefit while those who botch it could be hurt badly, so a lot of this goes on idea of an average rollout.

Canada

Three provincial and/or territorial governments have scheduled elections this year while federally we have a minority that could fall at anytime. While always possible like Manitoba in 2019 or BC in 2020, one decides to go early, my guess is none do due to risks involved.

Newfoundland & Labrador: George Furey still in honeymoon phase and province has done quite well on COVID-19 front so he is re-elected with a majority so Liberal majority here.

Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia Liberals looked in big trouble a year ago, but thanks to strong handling of COVID-19, I believe they will get re-elected so another Liberal majority.

Yukon: No polls here, but considering how well its done with COVID-19, my guess is Yukon Liberals are re-elected so another Liberal majority.

Federal: With a lot of hard choices ahead, my guess is Trudeau goes either in the spring or fall. With large deficits, he will either have to make cuts which will anger left flank or continue to run big deficits which could scare away centrist flank. At least with an election behind him, he can make tough choices early on and then recover towards end. Never mind this will probably be his last one anyways. So my guess is Fall election as by then most will be vaccinated and economy starting to bounce back. I am pretty confident Liberals will win most seats, but whether they get a majority or not almost a tossup, but my guess is Trudeau does get a very narrow majority. Tories are stuck in low 30s and win around 110 seats so hold most of what they hold now but make no head way. BQ and NDP get similar too while Greens lose 1 or 2 of their seats.

United States

On the gubernatorial front, there are two elections this November which are New Jersey and Virginia. Consider how many people vote straight ticket and that these are both solid blue states, my guess is Democrats win both, but by somewhat tighter margins than 2017

For Georgia runoff in 4 days, that will be close, but I am going to guess GOP narrowly holds both. My reason for predicting this is biggest swings to Biden were in upper middle class suburbs with lots of college educated whites. That demographic is still fiscally conservative, just dislikes Trump. With Trump now gone but still fearful of the more left wing elements in the Democrats, enough will vote GOP as a check thus GOP narrowly wins both. About 98% vote same way as presidential election, but 2% crossover and with how close Georgia was; that is enough to put GOP over top on both.

Overseas

Chile: Starting in Americas, Chile is most significant. Peru also having one, but no idea on how that will go. For Chile, my guess is left wins as Chile seems to have a history of flipping back and forth each election and then probably swings back right again in 2021.

Japan: Moving over to Asia, the Liberal Democratic Party led by Yoshihide Suga is re-elected which is no surprise as save 2009, Liberal Democratic Party has won pretty much every election in Japan since World war II

Israel: After their fourth election, Bibi wins this time and with the rise of more conservative parties, a more right wing coalition than in past is formed. Expect a much harder line on Palestine in order to wood harder right parties and thus more stable coalition.

Iceland: Moving over to Europe, Iceland holds election this year and centre-right Independence party as usual wins most votes and seats, but what type of coalition formed is anyone’s guess

Norway: Thanks to strong showing on COVID-19, centre-right Conservative Party blue bloc wins a historical third term supported by further right Progress party while other two centre-right parties fall below minimum threshold. Labour Party for first time in over a century fails to win the popular vote.

Germany: CDU/CSU for the first time not led by Merkel nonetheless wins and this time forms a coalition with the Greens much like in neighbouring Austria thus a Black-Green coalition.

Netherlands: VVD led by Mark Rutte win most seats and with parties on right doing well, probably some centre-right coalition but wouldn’t be surprised if one centre-left party joins as otherwise have to include a far right which they probably want to avoid.

London Mayoral: London mayoral will for first time have non-white leaders of both major parties. Sadiq Khan for Labour who was born to Pakistani parents and Shaun Bailey for Conservatives who was born to Jamaican parents so if elected would be first Black mayor of a major European city. Since Khan is fairly popular and London is nowadays a Labour stronghold, Sadiq Khan is re-elected as mayor.

Other European countries: Rest I haven’t followed enough and while possible a government like Spain or Italy could fall, at moment assuming none do but pretty sure at least one will fall for an early election, just don’t know which one.

8 thoughts on “2021 Political predictions

  1. Miles I hope you are wrong about Georgia – really hope. And if Netanyahu wins again I will be very sorry to see that corrupt bully carry on….

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    1. I do about Georgia. As for Netanyahu, problem is alternative or even more extreme. Left in Israel has declined dramatically while centrist coalition last time fell apart so don’t have that option.

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  2. Regarding the Georgia runoffs, I can see an alternate scenario that helps the Democrats.

    In rural parts of the state, Trump actually overperformed compared to 2016 and that was likely for him more than anything – they are Trump loyalists that may have a hard time holding up. Some of those voters in the rural areas may think the election was stolen and could boycott it. Those same people are toxic in places like Cobb and Gwinnett which are critical (forget Atlanta itself) and that might sustain it for the Democrats. Had Trump conceded properly, I agree the Republicans would likely get enough back to keep Congress split. But he isn’t really “gone” in their sense and that could be what gets Ossoff and Warnock into the Senate.

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    1. I think it will be close and it wouldn’t be shocked if one or both win, but I still think GOP has slight edge. Biden won state by slimmest of margins and it does seem of ticket splitters, its mostly Biden voters voting GOP down ballot, not Trump voters voting Democrat down ballot. But you are right about rural turnout could be an issue and some Trump loyalists stay home. Certainly of votes casts so far, Democrats are ahead, but we know GOP tends to dominate election day in person votes so whether there will be enough to close gap (I think there will) or not enough hard to say.

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  3. I think the Newfoundland and Labrador Liberals will get another majority. The electorate in Newfoundland and Labrador won’t blame furrey for the ongoing fiscal crisis there and the Liberals covid response should make it possible for them to win a solid majority in the next election. I think both georgia seats go to the democrats also. Some of the data I saw so far for both races does not look good for the GOP. It might reach the point in both races where it’s impossible for the GOP to catch up on election day unless there voters vote like crazy on election day.

    In terms of the next Canadian election I think the liberals win a majority or strong minority when the election is held this year. The CPC has been stuck in the low 30’s for months and the Liberals geographical advantage will make it hard for the CPC to gain seats and it’s possible they lose seats in vote rich areas like BC,Ontario and Quebec at this point. The vaccine rollout and the Liberal government’s covid response will definitely benefit them depending on when the election is held.

    In terms of Israel I do think Netanyahu finally gets the government he wants. People at this point in israel probably don’t want to worry about voting in a 5th election so The Netanyahu government’s covid response along with the electorates reluctance for another election will result in a solid win for Netanyahu’s government.

    Finally,even though the next Alberta election is far away I do think 2021 won’t be a good year for the UCP. The UCP has constantly been shooting themselves in the foot for months now and their press secretaries and issue managers have been a net negative for the party for awhile now. I do not expect kenney to get more popular anytime soon. I also expect the ABNDP to continue to be competitive in polls even though I do think they need to develop a solid message eventually to attract some of the voters who are reluctant to vote for them.

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  4. For Georgia, I am going on assumption GOP will outperform polls by 2-3 points which has generally been the case. In recent years, usually most optimistic not average predictions end up being true for GOP. Only time Democrats seem to match polling averages is when Obama is on the top of the ticket, but haven’t otherwise. He was a one of a kind politician who could energize many voters who don’t normally vote.

    Both Newfoundland & Labrador and Nova Scotia should result in Liberal majorities. With Atlantic Canada largely avoiding the second wave, I think that bodes well for all incumbent premiers although in case of PEI and New Brunswick, elections won’t happen until 2023 and 2024 so lots can change in those two. I do think though 2025 will be tough for both due to fiscal reckoning, but that comes after election.

    Federally, agreed. I think Trudeau goes in Fall as by then vaccine largely rolled out and economy starting to bounce back. O’Toole maybe an improvement over Scheer but he isn’t what they need to win a majority. I think over last decade base has moved further right while median voter leftward so not sure it is possible any longer to bridge divide between swing voters and base. Never mind pandemic has made big government popular thus much easier for parties on left than right. That will change probably once bills come due, but that will be after next federal election. And even then I don’t think public has the stomach for 90s style austerity.

    I would say Kenney is finished as premier. With Alberta’s massive deficit, tough and unpopular choices have to be made that would cause any premier to lose support so Kenney should have saved his political capital for this. Instead he has blown too much on stupid stuff. Real question is does party dump him or not. I don’t think Notley winning in 2023 is as far fetched as some think. I wouldn’t want to bet a lot of money as a lot can happen in 2 years and a bit, but if I had to make a prediction; mine is Notley wins. I think a lot of Albertans reflexively vote conservative but when you drill down on individual issues, they aren’t actually that conservative so this has just woken them up to fact many are not voting party who represents them. If Liberals were smart, they would run ads of Kenney endorsing O’Toole as I think many in urban Alberta dislike Trudeau but dislike Kenney more. But probably only nets 5 seats and so I suspect they will spend more in the more seat rich areas despite potential. But they should take approach to Alberta Stacey Abrams did to Georgia. In 2010, Georgia was not winnable for Democrats but it was trending it that way and Abrams helped lay the groundwork so it would flip when it was ready. I see Alberta shifting leftward and if Liberals lay groundwork they can take advantage of that when opportunity comes. But if they keep on writing it off, that won’t happen even when the time comes.

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  5. Regarding Alberta, it is a tough nut for Kenney right now. In rural Alberta, if anything, he is seen as not right-wing enough and there could be a serious challenge from the Maverick Party or some other independence party, as they are VERY right wing there and they also see Trudeau as guilty of treason. However, Kenney is completely out to lunch in Edmonton and even in Calgary he has to moderate some to keep the seats there (risking rural seats) as rural alone won’t win Alberta these days.

    I would say the UCP is far to the right of the Edmonton median (most seats there only go to CPC on vote splits), somewhat to the right of the Calgary median (although the NDP is clearly to the left of the Calgary median – the former PC’s were basically right on the median there), but even the UCP is left of the median voter in rural Alberta. That said, Notley definitely has work to do in 2023 as she has to win at least a good chunk (probably 40%) of the seats in Calgary to realistically go back to power with a majority.

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    1. I think Kenney is actually not in as tough a bind as some think. Yes Rural Alberta has some who think he is not right wing enough, but much like we saw in Saskatchewan election with Buffalo Party, Maverick party might come in second in some rural ridings, but won’t gain any traction in ridings where it could potentially split vote.

      Agree on Calgary, it is slightly right of centre and median voter falls in between UCP and NDP. Edmonton is centrist and federally Tories usually do about 10% better than they do provincially. For Notley to win, there are 87 seats and 41 are outside two main cities. Only five outside two I see as realistically winnable so that gives UCP 36 seats. So they only need to win 8 of the 26 seats in Calgary to hang on, although redistribution may make it slightly easier for NDP due to growth in cities. Still as we saw in BC, New Zealand election and others, in wave elections you see parties win in places you would never expect. So if there is a strong anti-UCP mood in 2023, you will likely see NDP win in places you wouldn’t otherwise expect. Bigger challenge is holding those as in 2015 federally and 2011 both Liberals and Tories won many seats you wouldn’t expect, but most of those they lost in subsequent one. Sort of akin to Obama’s win in Indiana in 2008 which was a one time win but has gone GOP since. And that is the bigger challenge for NDP long term although with Alberta have a fairly young population its possible much like Colorado and Virginia, demographics will change enough that progressives in the next decade outnumber conservatives and win that way.

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