Stuff reports the predictions of the Fairfax Gallery team:
1. Speaker Lockwood Smith will be our next High Commissioner to London and will be replaced as Speaker by Primary Industries Minister David Carter.
2. Labour will be comfortably over 30 per cent in the final polls of the year and David Shearer will be well-ensconced as leader.
Not so sure about comfortably, but agree Shearer will be well-ensconced.
3. Former forecaster Brendan Horan will prove to be NZ First’s own weather bomb.
Yes, have heard many a story about Mr Horan’s exploits when working on television. Will be interesting to see if any emerge with substance.
4. Parekura Horomia will not leave Parliament. A fate-tempting one this, after our previous failures picking the end of the Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP’s career and a similar track record with Jim Anderton. (In Mr Anderton’s case, it was only when we stopped picking he would leave that he felt free to go).
Agree – not in 2012 anyway.
5. A minister will be forced to resign over an employment issue or an ethical lapse.
Disagree for 2012. But probably at some stage in the three year term.
6. Continued economic problems in Europe spill over into Asia, forcing the Treasury to cut its forecasts, scotching hopes of a return to surplus by 2014-15.
If Asian growth falls, then yeah that goal will be damn hard to meet. But not entirely convinced Asia will be badly affected.
7. NZ First will be under 5 per cent in the polls at the end of the year. And probably at the start as well.
8. Labour will signal key elements of its tax reforms are for the scrapheap, starting with the $5000 tax-free band.
Beyond doubt. They were pledging to borrow money for tax cuts – the very thing they spent years campaigning against.
9. The Greens’ election score of 11 per cent will be its high point, and the party will not better it in polls during 2012.
Disagree. I think they might poll better in an individual poll, but prob not on the average of the polls.
10. John Key will sign a free trade deal with Russia, but not before the Apec meeting at Vladivostok.
11. National’s Alfred Ngaro, the Greens’ Eugenie Sage and Labour’s David Clark will be the surprise performers among the 2011 backbench intake.
I agree all three should be sucessful MPs. I’d also watch Mark Mitchell and Holly Walker.
12. ACT will choose a new leader, and it won’t be its sole MP, John Banks.
Banks may be co-leader, but I agree unlikely to be sole leader.
13. Whatever the state of the sharemarket, and however much the opposition protests, the partial sale of Mighty River Power will go ahead, raising about $1.8 billion net.
14. The Maori Party will have a change of leader – and with two co-leaders in a three-person caucus there are not too many options.
Obvious, but I’d say 2013 rather than 2012 perhaps.
15. In a return to form, Winston Peters will reveal a scandal in a government department and drip-feed information in the House over several weeks. Deja vu all over again.
He’ll try but I suspect he has less people who will go to him with a scandal now.
16. Despite current predictions, the rebuild of central Christchurch will not be in full swing by year’s end, prompting the Treasury to delay any significant impact on economic growth from the construction work.
Sadly this may be right until the insurance issues are sorted.
17. NZ First will pick former North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams as its deputy leader.
18. 2012 will be a by-election-free year. That’s a hope as much as a prediction.
19. John Key will visit Europe during the Olympics in London. What a lucky coincidence.
20. The Maori Party will beat last year’s record and go through more than three press secretaries.
Heh, quite possible.
They also had some less serious predictions:
2. Foreign Minister Murray McCully will dye his hair blond, just so he can fit in at the office.
3. Green MP and Rhodes scholar Holly Walker will tweet about something other than morning tea and frocks.
4. Labour deputy leader Grant Robertson will find a new way not to say he wants to be leader.
Grant is getting very practised at this.
10. Standing orders will be revised so the media can broadcast pictures if a fist-fight breaks out in the chamber.
They’ll publish anyway of course, regardless.
13. After a tireless search, Labour broadcasting spokeswoman Clare Curran will finally find an example of New Zealand journalism that is better than anything from overseas.
Yes, have never worked out how slagging off the entire NZ media industry, forms part of Labour’s media relations strategy.
17. Labour MP Shane Jones will watch The Sound of Music in his hotel during a regional development conference.