At the start of last year I made some predictions for the coming year and assigned them percentages based on how likely I thought they were. So now the year is nearly over, I can now see how I did?
The short version? Not so great.
The UK general election will result in a hung parliament (80%). I’m reasonably sure about that but not much else.
If I had to take a stab in the dark I’d say that we’ll end up with a minority Conservative government (40%).
OK at least I was bullish about the Tories’ chances. Though if I genuinely thought this was ‘a stab in the dark’, I’m unsure why I assigned it a probability that implied it was almost as likely to happen as not.
Ed Miliband (60%) and Nick Clegg (90%) will not survive as leaders of their parties and will be replaced by Chuka Umunna (30%) and Tim Farron (50%).
This is probably the only section where I did well. Miliband and Clegg are indeed gone. Farron has taken over. And while Corbyn became leader rather than Umunna, I don’t think anyone including Corbyn was predicting that back in January.
In the event, David Cameron ceases to be leader, I would think that Theresa May is his most likely replacement (50%).
We’ll never know about this one.
Hilary Clinton will announce she’s running for President (90%).
I managed to score in an open goal.
Greece will exit the Eurozone (60%).
Not only was I wrong here, I was wrong about why I might have turned out to be wrong. If Greece stayed in I assumed that would mean one of the following:
1) New Democracy remained in power by scaring voters about the consequences of Grexit;
2) Syriza was elected and the creditor nations made concessions; or
3) Syriza was elected and a standoff dragged on past the end of the year.
Syriza taking over and implementing an even tougher austerity program than the one they inherited was simply not an idea that would have occurred to me.
The highest grossing film globally will be Avengers: Age of Ultron (60%). However, in the US it will be Star Wars: the Force Awakens (60%) and in the UK Spectre (50%).
Which I immediately wound up having to correct because:
When I made the predictions regarding the highest box office takes I did so under the misapprehension that the Force Awakens was being released this summer. In fact, it’s not out till the final week of December. Therefore, I now think there’s a 70% probability that the Avengers will top the US box office and am prepared to raise the probability that Spectre will top the UK box office to 70%.
I really disliked Jurassic World for quite a few reasons: its lame script, boring characters and terrible gender politics. Now I have another one: It messed up these predictions. I can’t actually remember if at the time I wrote that post I knew there was going to be a Jurassic Park sequel coming out in 2015. As it happened it topped the box office both in the US and worldwide. To make matters worse, Age of Ultron was not even the 2nd highest grossing film worldwide; that was Furious 7 another film I’d barely considered!
I was right that Spectre would top the UK box office but probably only because I was wrong about when the Force Awakens was coming out. Given that the later film is breaking box office records in the UK as well as the US it seems to have a good shot at making more money than Spectre here.
So of my 11 predictions: 5 were right,6 were wrong and 1 was null.
Probably my main consolation is that I gave predictions that came true an average probability of 73% and those that were wrong an average 58%. That would appear to indicate I do have some sense of when I might be wrong.
Nonetheless, I wouldn’t bet on it.