It is that time of year of again so below are my predictions. As usual probably get some right and some wrong. As always events matter and those in fall most likely to see circumstances change than those in next few months.
Unless federal government calls an early election (I don’t think they will, although think Liberals regain lead and Poilievre becomes more and more unpopular) or some provinces not scheduled call an early one, there will be three next year so here they are.
Alberta: As stated many times, my prediction is an NDP majority and that has not changed. But I will go bolder and say NDP gets over 50% of the popular vote while UCP under 40%. As Liz Truss and midterms in states like Michigan and Pennsylvania showed; chose an extremist and even some long time supporters will go elsewhere thus getting results that in normal conditions would seem ridiculous.
Manitoba: Also an NDP majority, but here I will predict PCs win popular vote thanks to running up margins in rural southern areas, but NDP still wins majority of seats. Wab Kinew will become the first First Nation premier in Southern Canada (NWT and Nunavut have had one, but no province has).
Prince Edward Island: PC landslide here with PCs winning every seat save Green Party leader’s seat.
Quiet year with only three state elections, but my prediction is Democrats hold Kentucky but GOP flips Louisiana and holds Mississippi. All three are solid red states but Beshear is a Blue Dog Democrat so has lots of crossover appeal.
Argentina: Centre-right wins presidency thanks to horrible economy and hyper-inflation
Estonia: Centre-right Reform party wins and forms a coalition with other centre-right parties.
Finland: Centre-right National Rally wins most votes but current governing coalition still retains majority. However Centre Party defects and joins up with other centre-right parties resulting in National Rally forming government and Sanna Marin ousted as PM.
Germany: Hesse – Black-Green coalition, Berlin – Red-Red-Green, Bavaria – CSU-Free voter coalition, Bremen – Red-Green.
Greece: New Democracy is re-elected but loses majority and in theory parties on left could form government, but since it would involve including far left pro-Russian KKE, grand coalition between New Democracy and centre-left KINAL is formed.
Luxembourg: CSV comes in first but one of worst showings so governing coalition of Democratic Party, Greens, and LSAP continues.
Spain: Popular party wins most votes but falls short of majority. Refuses to form a coalition with far right Vox but instead goes on issue by issue. Vox abstains on vote for PM allowing Feijoo to become PM. In regional elections in May, PSOE loses a few but not all autonomous communities and PP gains some.
Poland: United right re-elected but loses majority but gets one smaller party to back them.
Switzerland: Swiss People’s Party comes in first again and same magic formula for government that has existed for decades of 2 SVP, 2 SDP, 2 FDP, and 1 CVP remains in place. Greens though may be included as get in double digits.
Turkey: Erdogan loses but claims it was rigged and like with Istanbul mayor, orders another election which he rigs and wins.
Ukraine: Zelensky’s party wins a landslide as people unite behind leader in war.
Australia: New South Wales – Labor picks up for L/NP
New Zealand: Ardern narrowly loses with National Party + ACT getting slimmest of majority
8 thoughts on “2023 political predictions”
Happy New Year Miles, and here’s hoping that 2023 brings less war, more peace, and more sanity in government whatever parties and leaders prevail across the world. While I am not always happy to hear about some of your political predictions (eg. far right wins, election riggers), I am always grateful for the depth of knowledge and thought you put into them, and I know you will get many of them right. In fact, I really think The Economist would be well served to hire your services! Close to home and close to my heart, I hope you are dead right about Alberta – and I hope that Danielle Smith brings her party to a BIG loss to a much smarter and more temperate leader in Rachael Notley. Above all, I hope we can all find our way through the year ahead with the love of family and community and the earth at the center of our thoughts and actions. If we could do that, maybe the DS-bots of our political landscape will go back to the caves they emerged from. Onward into 2023….
Only one really not happy about is Turkey, but would just re-enforce it is no longer a democracy and now a dictatorship. I hope against hope Erdogan not only loses but actually leaves office, but I feel he would do what Trump tried to do and with Turkey having far fewer checks and balances than US has, would probably succeed where Trump failed. Hopefully it is like Bolsonaro who made same threat but at end of day did to my pleasant surprise left office peacefully which I feared wouldn’t happen. Bolsonaro like Trump outperformed polls and came a lot closer to winning, but still lost and is gone. As for other centre-right governments I predicted, none are extreme or worrisome so since none major powers and don’t live in either, I don’t really care one way or another how Finland, Spain, Greece, and New Zealand go. It will matter a lot to people who live there, but in rest of world won’t make much difference.
For Alberta, being more centre-right I had lots of criticisms of Notley in her first term. While many things were not her fault, she did do some things I disagreed with. However, I think with Smith as leader, she is taking advantage of an opening that didn’t exist in 2015, which is people from the old PCs are politically homeless. And while Danielle Smith is basically telling them they are not welcome in party as not real conservatives, Notley is trying to reach out to them even if maybe doesn’t agree with them on all issues as understands to win she needs to win them over. When right split, she could rely just on her left wing base which is 1/3 to 40% of population in Alberta, but with united right, she cannot win without winning over some who normally vote Conservative so she is going after the soft conservatives who find UCP too extreme.
Finally I always believed in concept of country first, party second. And fact is I am old enough to remember the constitutional squabbles of Meech Lake, Charlottetown and 1995 referendum and make no mistake, her sovereignty act is designed to provoke another constitutional crisis which is the last thing either Alberta or rest of Canada needs. Lougheed who was upset with Pierre Trudeau made Alberta’s case to rest of Canada, not acted like a petulant child as Smith is. To win over feds you need to win over voters in rest of country and Smith is just doing everything to alienate rest of country.
For PCs in PEI, they are like the PCs federally were under Robert Stanfield so I think you would be fine with that. Manitoba PCs more conservative, but they are like Alberta PCs were pre-merger so maybe more conservative than your likings but not crazy or dangerous like UCP is under Smith. They are like BC Liberals, Doug Ford government or Blaine Higgs of New Brunswick. I doubt you would vote for any them (I would) but at least all are part of your normal centre-right governments you get within a normal political cycle just as Manitoba and Alberta NDP as well as BC NDP are like your normal centre-left governments you get in a normal political cycle.
In terms of federal politics I don’t think a federal election will be held this year
The spicy election this year will be the Alberta one. I think the only thing I am willing to predict right now about that election is that we will end up with a chaotic legislature were either party at best only gets a 2-3 seat majority. Right now I predict the ABNDP will get 46 seats and the UCP 41 seats. The ABNDP wins the popular vote by around 2 points and both the UCP and ABNDP get above 45 percent support. Neither party gets above 50 percent of the vote. I also think it’s possible for the ABNDP to win the election even if they lose the popular vote narrowly. I suspect that the UCP under smith will do better than people expect in rural Alberta which might make their vote less efficient. I think if they UCP vote collapses in calgary but they hold onto to their support in Edmonton and rural alberta we might be in for a very weird election depending on turnout.
The other election that might be spicy to is the Manitoba one because we could also see a popular vote/seat count spilt in that one. I think the Manitoba NDP lose the popular vote by 1 point but they get a 5 or so seat majority because li\the PCs get an insane amount of support in rural southern Manitoba which props up their popular vote numbers.
I don’t think the PEI election will be that spicy but I think it will end up like the 2015 newfoundland and labrador election were their is still a solid opposition in the end. I suspect both the Liberals and Greens win 8 seats combined on election night.
In terms of elections outside of Canada I think we see a weird spilt in Turkey were the AK party hangs on to power in parliament but Erdogan loses the presidential election to İmamoğlu(if he ends up as the main opposition to Erdogan). I also think we see a chaotic election in New Zealand. I don’t think Arden gets reelected. I think the Act+National party will get a very small majority if Labour does not have enough seats to form government after that election.
Those sound all reasonable and agree PCs and UCP in rural areas probably outperform polls which helps them in popular vote but not seat count. Seems common theme for parties on right to do better in rural areas than polls but doesn’t matter much in terms of seats. PEI is very uniform and being a small province, its much easier to sweep than others. A 10 point lead in polls leads to a near sweep whereas in most provinces you will still have a solid opposition even with a 10 point lead as more variance.
For Ardern agreed. Only card she has is Maori Party if holding balance of power could save her, but I think ACT + National gets majority. For Turkey, my concern is more if Erdogan loses, does he leave power or does he like Trump try to hang on and with Turkey having much weaker constitution, he might succeed where Trump failed. In most countries, someone like Trump would still be president as they would have succeeded in bid to overturn results. US constitution plus Trump being not so bright were big reasons he failed as most dictators are a lot smarter than Trump too.
I don’t expect a near sweep for the PCs in PEI. There is definitely 2 seats they are not winning at this point in my opinion. There are bunch of other seats were the PCs got in the teens or low twenties in 2019 that I don’t think they win either. A near PC sweep would require for the Liberals to drop a bit more than they have dropped since 2019 in the polls. I think a 20-25 point lead probably gives the PCs like 22 seats assuming that lead even stays that high for the entire campaign.
I really don’t know what erdogan will do if he loses but all of the indicators are pointing to a divided electorate with a high disapproval rating for erodogan and a high wrong track number. This probably does not mean good news for the AKP’s reelection chances in both the pres and parliamentary race.
I think people are definitely underestimating the chances of the UCP having no structural advantage in the upcoming Alberta election, Their is a scenario were the UCP doesn’t lose much support in Edmonton CMA and the rest of the Alberta but they vote drops by like 12 points or so in Calgary which in theory would be enough to produce an seat count spilt that benefits the ABNDP if they barely lose the popular vote. Grenier said on his Writ podcast like a week ago that he thinks it’s possible the ABNDP barely loses the popular vote but gets the most seats in one of his predictions next year.
One way we might get a something like that happen next year if you get something like this
Edmonton CMA: 57-37 percent ABNDP
Calgary CMA: 51-44 percent ABNDP
Rest of Alberta: 65-29 percent UCP
Using the number of ridings in each part of the province the UCP would win 48.6-45.8 in this scenario. In reality the ABNDP lead might be a bit higher in Edmonton so it would be closer to a one point lead in the popular vote for the UCP if I increased the ABNDP’s support in Edmonton to 60 percent. In this scenario I think the only way the UCP would have a shot of forming government is if the ABNDP’s vote is still inefficient in Calgary and Edmonton, but I think that inefficiency would break down in this scenario. This scenario also heavily depends on turnout in each region of the province. A lower level of support for the UCP in the rest of Alberta but a higher UCP turnout in that part of the province might produce the exact same result if their turnout is also high in edmonton and calgary.
The math I did above is kinda meh, but I might fix it up later since I have access to the electoral list now.
For PEI, PCs are quite moderate compared to federal Tories so much broader appeal as well as province in terms of politics is pretty evenly spread out. If you look at federal poll by poll results, almost every polling station had each federal party within ten points of overall provincewide average. Being a small province with fewer regional differences means landslides more likely than in a larger one with bigger regional differences. Only thing that may stand in way is riding have around 4,000 people per riding so possible some popular MLAs from opposition hold on based on that.
For Turkey, I think Erdogan absolutely could lose. Question is will he leave voluntarily or will he try to rig things to ensure he stays on. I see him like Trump who will try to cheat if he cannot win fairly. Trump couldn’t as not that smart and US constitution makes it extremely difficult (scarily enough it could be done and in fact would be much tougher if not impossible in Canada).
For Alberta agree and I have had arguments with some on twitter who think opposite, but I agree with your view here. I think a year ago when WIP was in low teens and Kenney still leader might have been possible for UCP to lose popular vote but win most seats as WIP was almost all in rural Alberta so would drop UCP support a lot there, but not enough to cost them seats. But now I generally concur.
Notwithstanding what some polls say, I don’t believe it is even close in rest of Alberta. Most in those areas think Notley was a disaster and hate Trudeau so support sovereignty act so I expect UCP to win big there. 2015 federal election a good example as Harper lost a lot of support in two cities, but in rural ridings got almost exactly same as 2011. There are very few swing voters in rural Alberta and conservatives always win big there no matter what overall conditions are. Edmonton while an NDP city, its not as left wing as Vancouver, Toronto & Montreal so asides from a few trendy ridings in central part, UCP will still get at least 25%, probably 30% there as federally Tories still win majority of seats there and most federal Tory voters will go UCP, but enough will crossover they likely lose. So as you mention it is likely Calgary and polls seem to suggest that is where biggest swing is. Most swing voters in Edmonton never went UCP in first place while they aren’t many swing voters in Rural Alberta unless another even further right wing party so it will likely be Calgary where biggest swing happens.
Yeah. Polls show the UCP in the mid to high 50s right now in the rest of Alberta and the ABNDP in the low to mid 30s. I don’t think this holds because of how disorganized the third parties are across the province and global trends. In the best case scenario I could see the UCP in the mid 60s in the rest of Alberta which might cause issues for them in terms of their seat count. I suspect that the UCP support also gets inflated a bit in Edmonton because of the outer Edmonton seats. In some of those outer Edmonton seats the UCP will get in the mid 40s and possibly as high as 60 percent. They will get around 30 percent in ridings within the city itself. I do agree with that most of the swing will be within calgary which is why the PV and seat count between the two parties will likely be close in the end.