2015 – a political tale of the unexpected

1995 library filer of Chris Moncrieff. Photo by Peter Smith/PA
1995 library filer of Chris Moncrieff. Photo by Peter Smith/PA
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This has been the year which has stood British politics on its head.

It has demonstrated that punditry about politics is a mug’s game.

Because nearly all the predictions and assertions by the beard-stroking prophets, soothsayers and crystal-ball gazers have been wide of the mark.

It was the general assumption among the know-alls that Britain would be faced with another coalition government, with the Liberal Democrats only too happy to hire themselves out to whichever party needed them, to prop them up.

Instead, of course, the Tories emerged with an overall, if not huge, Commons majority, with the pathetic Liberal Democrats reduced to a miserly eight MPs, and Nick Clegg plunging from the trappings of deputy prime minister to Mr Nobody.

And who predicted that the Scottish Nationalists, after their comparatively heavy defeat in the independence referendum in 2014 would bounce back last May to capture every seat, bar two, north of the border?

And equally, before the campaign got seriously underway, who imagined that hard-line left-winger Jeremy Corbyn would be leading the Labour Party before the end of the year?

When one considers, with the benefit of hindsight, the feebleness of his rivals, Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall, I suppose it was not all that much of a surprise.

He is a leader that many Labour MPs did not and still do not want.

But a few non-Corbyn supporting MPs made it possible for him to become eligible to stand “to widen the debate”.

They have since been branded “morons”.

Talk about a self-inflicted wound!

Now the party, which is split as never before, will have to stumble on, as best it can, with probably the most unpopular leadership in its history.

And for all the reasons given above, it would be unwise, not to say downright stupid, to predict what may happen at Westminster in 2016.