‘Labour sure to win Wakefield’: more advice from the Mystic Meg of politics | Policy

Professor Jon Tonge has faced teasing without remorse since being hailed as the ‘Mystic Meg of political science’ for accurately predicting Monday’s vote of confidence in Boris Johnson.

When he turned up at a conference in Belfast on Thursday, a fellow academic said “the diviner just walked in”. And her youngest daughter asked her, “If you can see things, how come you can’t say you’re a complete loser?”

When he predicted that Johnson would be out in six months, he faced a barrage of hostile comments about the Daily Mail website like “burning him at the stake”. But Tonge, who teaches British politics at the University of Liverpool, is fearless: “One of the commentators said I was a ‘rigged Nostradamus’. I’m tempted to put this on my Twitter bio.

Now he’s willing to risk more derision with more political predictions. His predictions come with many caveats. “There are all kinds of hostages of fortune here,” he warns and adds, “I’m a poor man’s John Curtice,” referring to the seasoned pollster.

But Tonge, who has accounts at three bookmakers, says he has won more than he has lost on political bets. His winnings include £1,200 on the 2017 Northern Ireland Assembly election and £600 on an early bet on Boris Johnson succeeding Theresa May. So the following predictions might be worth hesitating:

Wakefield by-election 🔮

“Labour are absolutely certain to win as they only need a 4% swing from the Tories. Labor will win by 8,000 to 10,000 votes. This was a constituency which, in fact, had been loaned to the Tories because of Brexit.The only thing that could dampen the size of the Labor majority is a low turnout.

Tiverton and Honiton by-election 🔮

“It’s harder to predict given that the Conservatives won 60% of the vote. But it was tight twice and I expect the Liberal Democrats to win it. It takes a 23% swing for that to happen and in Chesham and Amersham there was a 25% swing. The background music has probably gotten worse since, so I think the Lib Dems will win by about 2,000 votes.

Next Conservative Leader 🔮

“A few weeks ago, I would have definitely said Rishi Sunak. And while his wife’s non-dom status hasn’t helped, I still think it’s between Sunak and Liz Truss, with Ben Wallace a long shot at 20-1 It won’t be Jeremy Hunt.

” But it is difficult. Conservative leadership races can hold considerable surprises.

“As chancellor, Sunak has to deal with a messy economy. And Truss, as Foreign Secretary, has the horrible poisonous gift of Northern Ireland Protocol.

“These issues could suit one or both. If they can handle their inbound bins, they are premier hardware. If I was pushed, I’d say Truss will have it. If she makes it to the ballot, she is the favorite among the members.

Next Labor leader 🔮

“There will be no vacancies. I would be very surprised if Keir Starmer were fined by Durham Police.

“But if he quit, I think it would be between Andy Burnham and Lisa Nandy. When he was elected mayor of Manchester, he won in places like leafy Cheshire and Hale so he could connect.

“For a party committed to equality, it is absolutely far-fetched that it has never found a woman to lead it and Nandy has a very clear idea of ​​how Labor can win back those Northern seats.

“Burnham would beat Nandy, but narrowly. And Wes Streeting would follow at some distance.

Next chancellor and reshuffle 🔮

“There are four possibilities for the next chancellor. And if I had to rank them, it would be: Sajid Javid again; Kwasi Kwarteng; Steve Barclay; Michel Gouve. But I wouldn’t bet on it. Javid is a man who likes the highest office. Kwarteng is capable and a good communicator. Barclay is safe. I don’t know where Gove goes next, he’s idiosyncratic and unpredictable.

“I don’t see some kind of brutal purge of the cabinet because Johnson doesn’t do brutality. People said Priti Patel would be moved, but I don’t really see it. Making Sunak foreign secretary would be his logical next job.

Next general election 🔮

“It’s almost impossible to predict at this point. It depends on so many things, with the economy first and foremost. I don’t think any party will get an overall majority.

“I have the Conservatives on 301 seats. Labor will gain around 50 to put them at 262. The Scottish National Party will drop from 48 to 45. There will be 18 for the Northern Ireland parties. Plaid Cymru will get five seats, and the Greens one. That puts the Lib Dems on 18 seats. I’m a little nervous about that Lib Dem number but I’ll stick with it. There have been so many Lib Dem false dawns.

“I find it hard to see how the Conservatives will form a government because they have no friends. It will therefore be a coalition led by Starmer. Expect all the ‘chaos coalition’ stuff to be thrown at Labor again.

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