One year ago on this blog, I wrote a list of predictions for 2012. I looked at 10 major news and sports events in the coming year, and, at the risk of ending up with egg on my face, wrote down what I thought were the most likely outcomes. So, how did I do? Have a look below....
1) What will a barrel of oil cost at the end of 2012? (At the end of 2011 it was $108).
My prediction- "$120"
But the answer, as of the 17th December 2012 is....$108.. After a year in which the price of a barrel swung as high as $125 dollars, and as low as $89, it ended up more or less exactly where it started.
2) Who will win the US presidential election?
My prediction- "President Obama, despite all the bad economic news and the other disappointments of his first term. But if the Republicans choose Mitt Romney as their candidate, the result will be close".
Well, I got that more or less right. Although, in the end, the result was not as close as I had expected.
3) Will any country drop out of either the euro or the European Union?
My prediction- "Greece will come under intense pressure to drop out of the euro currency zone, but no countries will leave the EU".
I probably underestimated the determination of EU governments to keep Greece in the Eurozone, come what may. The crucial voice in Europe is, of course, Angela Merkel. In the first six months of 2012, the German Chancellor appeared to waver in her commitment, but she ultimately decided that poor old Greece will be even more trouble out of the Eurozone than it is in.
4) Who will win the most gold medals at the London Olympics? (In the Beijing 2008 Olympics, it was China with 51).
My prediction "China to win the most gold medals again".
I was wrong here, as the USA surged back, to lead the gold medal table, as well as the overall medal table.
5) Which country will win football's Euro 2012?
My prediction "Spain, as a golden generation of players still seem to have plenty more life in them".
I'm rather pleased with getting that one spot-on!
6) Who will win the Nobel Peace Prize?
My prediction "South Africa's Treatment Action Campaign for leading a successful fight for the greater availability of anti-retroviral drugs for millions of HIV positive people".
Wrong. It was the European Union.....(much to the fury of austerity weary Greeks, Portuguese Irish etc, and the disbelief of large parts of the British press).
7) Who will win the presidential elections in France?
My prediction- "Francois Hollande to defeat Nicolas Sarkozy"
8) If the issue of Palestinian statehood goes before the UN General Assembly, how many countries, out of the 192 members, will cast a (non-binding) vote in favour of recognition?
My prediction "125"
In the end, the Palestinians went for the more modest goal of non-member observer status. And they ended up with an overwhelming majority 138 votes in favour, with 9 against and 41 abstentions.
9) Who will win the Russian presidential election?
My prediction- "Vladimir Putin".
Right, although I don't think that was much of a test of my prophetic powers!
10) Who will win the men's tennis at Wimbledon?
My prediction- "Andy Murray".
I was wrong, unless you count Murray's subsequent Olympic Gold...at Wimbledon. But Murray exceeded expectations this year, losing in the Wimbledon final to Federer, winning that Olympic Gold, and then ending Britain's long wait for a Grand Slam title by winning the US Open in September.
Coming soon- my predictions for 2013!
You can follow Barnaby on twitter at @BarnabyPhillips