Part 2: My Predictions for 2024
The three big elections that will shape global politics this year
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There’s certainly a lot to keep us entertained in the months ahead. We’ll see national elections in the likes of Austria, Belgium, Croatia, India, Lithuania, Mexico, Portugal, and Romania, and state elections in Germany.
And we’ll see the politics of inflation, a cost-of-living crisis, growing concerns over migration and security, and the impact of conflicts overseas continuing to work their way through political systems in the West.
But much of the attention this year, inevitably, will focus on the ‘big three’ elections in the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom, elections that will set the global mood for the next few years.
And for reasons I’ll come onto, I do think each of these elections will deliver some big shocks, returning us in some way to the mood music of 2016. Looking around, I see little evidence liberalism has responded to its ongoing crisis, populism is on the back foot, or voters are reconnecting with the established political parties.
On the contrary, if anything I just see the continuation if not acceleration of trends I’ve been pointing to for many years. So, given it’s the time of year for predictions, here’s what I think will happen at the big three contests this year.
As always, I’m also keen to read your predictions in the comments.
In Britain, the Conservative Party will suffer a heavy and most likely historic defeat. In the latest polls, the British Tories are languishing more than 20-points behind Labour. They do not ‘own’ a single issue in British politics. They even trail Labour on immigration and Brexit. The vast majority of voters think Britain is heading “in the wrong direction”, and say “it’s time for a change in Westminster”. Rishi Sunak’s leadership ratings have slumped and remain far weaker than Keir Starmer’s. His parliamentary party is also divided and restless. Sunak is only attracting a little over half the people who voted for Boris Johnson and the Tories in 2019. Above all, these voters want the government to prioritise stopping illegal migration but, so far, Sunak has failed to do that. And while inflation is falling, most people are not yet feeling the economic “recovery”, telling me they feel worse off than they were a year ago. The national populist Reform party is also picking up more support, averaging around 10% and taking about one in five ex-Tories while Labour’s recovery will almost certainly be helped by gains north of the border, in Scotland, something I expect will be one of the big (though currently under-appreciated) aspects of the 2024 election. The case for Scotland’s independence, in turn, will be further weakened. So, overall, as I warned in 2022, we will learn that much of the country is simply done with the Tories who look ideologically and electorally lost and destined for some time in the wilderness.
Now onto America and Europe …