In January I made predictions for the coming year. Almost five months in, I decided to take a look at them and see how accurate (and otherwise) they have turned out so far!
On politics, I predicted that the Oldham and Saddleworth by-election would be closer than many people imagined. It was – so not a bad prediction. Unfortunately I also happened to state that this would show that ”the Lib Dems are far from the brink of collapse”. I’m not too sure I can take too much credit for getting that one right.
I also forecast that “attitudes towards the Lib Dems will slowly change over the year, both among the media and the public.” Yes, they have. In Scotland at least, people have gone from being angry towards the Lib Dems to seeing them as electorally irrelevant. A huge task lies ahead for Willie Rennie.
I predicted that the coalition would survive the year, while tensions between the grassroots and the leaderships would be heightened. So far, I’m being proved right on that score. Sadly, I was clearly overly optimistic in predicting very modest losses for the Lib Dems in the Holyrood elections and for the Greens to increase their representation – although I am not too upset at being proved wrong in my assertion that Labour would win comfortably. I think I was spot on in relation to Tommy Sheridan – but I think any sensible person would have made the same calculation.
I correctly foretold the outcome of the AV referendum, which I always thought would never excite the public, while also getting it right on Labour’s inability to decide what their policies are (as witnessed in Scotland where policy positions seemed to change from one day to the other).
St Mirren and Morton did, indeed, both escape relegation quite comfortably. Well done to them! And Rangers did win the league on the final day of the season, although the controversy I was referring to actually occurred in an earlier Old Firm game. Why is this kind of thing so sadly predictable?
Finally, and most importantly (being my main reason for writing this) I am absolutely thrilled that my prediction for my own team – Albion Rovers – was almost entirely mistaken and probably based on several years of disappointment. Yes, we were not promoted automatically, losing out to a very talented Arbroath team. But,we’ve just won the play-offs!!! We won!!! Our first promotion since 1988 (when Maclennan and Steel were joint leaders of the Social and Liberal Democrats). After 23 years of misery - finally this! I now know what it feels like to support a successful team!!!
And the best thing was beating Annan Athletic (my wife’s team) in the final. Not that I’m gloating, I wouldn’t do that. Honestly.