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Our newsroom’s predictions for 2021

Thursday 7 January 2021

If last year taught us anything, it’s that making predictions can be near pointless. Still, that hasn’t stopped us. At a ThinkIn on Monday night, we asked members of Team Tortoise what they think will happen in 2021


As hard as it may be to believe right now, the Conservative Party will end the year ahead in the polls (Matt d’Ancona). Nicola Sturgeon will win the Scottish elections and take the referendum question to the courts (James Harding). Laurence Fox will announce a bid for London Mayor but very swiftly drop out (Claudia Williams).

The Christian Democrats will win the German elections (James Harding) but Lukashenko will still be Europe’s last dictator on 31 Dec 2021 (Giles Whittell). In the states, Biden will take the Senate* (Giles Whittell) and Jack Dorsey will promptly delete Trump’s Twitter account (Xavier Greenwood).

The Best Picture Oscar will be won, for the first time, by a film that has never been shown in cinemas (Phoebe Davis). There will be no Glastonbury (Merope Mills) but we will all be glued to the Tokyo Olympics, albeit in empty stadiums (James Harding). The English national men’s football team will make the final of the Euros, but will lose to Belgium (Xavier Greenwood). Tennis will wave goodbye to Serena Williams and Roger Federer, who will both retire after missing out on a final Wimbledon singles title each (Dave Taylor).

While the humans will be glad to be released finally from lockdown restrictions sometime in late summer in the UK, Battersea dogs home will be full to bursting as people’s loyal, furry lockdown friends prove incompatible with the return of the daily commute (Merope Mills).

In terms of business, M&S will break up food and clothing (James Harding). The first branches of M&S Kids and M&S Lingerie will appear on our high streets, while Harvey Nicholls will close all its stores with the exception of its London flagship (Liz Moseley). There will be bids for BP, Rolls Royce and Channel 4, and McDonald’s will welcome a whole new hipster market with the launch of a vegan Big Mac (Liz Moseley). Globally, central banks will act to limit the volatility and value of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (James Harding). Swedish fintech Klarna will go public (Alexi Mostrous) and Amazon workers in the US unionise (Claudia Williams).

If you haven’t already, do catch up on our ThinkIn, “2021 Predictions: what’s coming next?” here.

*One point already awarded to Giles