IT will be the year when royal playboy Prince Harry finally settles down; when one of the world’s most successful boybands splits up; and when six years of rock-bottom interest rates finally come to an end.
That is according to members of the British public, who have given their predictions on what will happen in 2015.
While political and economic predictions topped the table of most likely events in the coming 12 months, another royal wedding is one of the most hotly tipped of the year, with 16 per cent cent believing Prince Harry will pop the question – presumably to his on/off girlfriend Cressida Bonas.
The poll of happenings in the past and coming year also named the independence referendum as the third “most memorable” event of 2014 – behind only the Ebola outbreak and First World War poppy display at the Tower of London.
The Opinium Research survey found 42 per cent of people believe interest rates will rise next year – the most highly-expected event of 2015. This compares with 38 per cent of Brits who expected an increase in 2014. Rates remained at the record low of 0.5 per cent throughout 2014.
Fans of boyband One Direction will be disappointed to learn that 12 per cent of people said they thought the former X-Factor stars would go their separate ways in the year ahead.
Those polled also foresaw gloomy times for one of the ITV show’s judges, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini – formerly Cheryl Cole – as 13 per cent forecast her divorce from French restaurateur Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini, whom she married in July after a whirlwind romance.
Turning to more serious matters, almost four in ten think there will be another hung parliament after the general election, while one in five says Ukip will join either Labour or the Conservatives in coalition and 17 per cent believe David Cameron will remain Prime Minister.
A pessimistic 15 per cent claimed the housing bubble – in London and the south of England – will burst, while 13 per cent think there will be an outbreak of Ebola virus in the UK.
James Endersby, managing director of Opinium Research, said: “2014 has been a truly memorable year; we have experienced historical events, with the Scottish independence referendum, and the centenary of World War One. But it has also been a year of tragedy with Ebola and other awful events.”
People were also quizzed on their heroes and heroines of the past 12 months. Scot Andy Murray was knocked off his 2013 top spot by actress Lynda Bellingham who died of cancer earlier this year, followed by charity activist Stephen Sutton who raised nearly £5 million before dying of cancer in May.
Other heroes in the top ten include F1 driver Lewis Hamilton and golfer Rory McIlroy, while Prince Harry features again, alongside the Queen.
Disgraced TV star Jimmy Savile is named No1 villain of 2014, picked by 64 per cent of people, followed by killer Oscar Pistorius, Russian president Vladimir Putin and publicist Max Clifford, jailed for indecent assault.
Although Ukip leader Nigel Farage was voted a hero by 9 per cent, a further 20 per cent named him as a villain.
PREDICTIONS FOR 2015
1 Interest rates will rise42%
2 There will be another hung parliament after the general election 38%
3 One or more countries leave the EU 23%
4 UKIP will join either Labour or the Conservatives in a coalition government 20%
5 David Cameron will be the Prime Minister after the general election 17%
6 Prince Harry will get engaged 16%
7 Housing bubble will burst 15%
8 There will be an Ebola outbreak in UK 13%
9 Cheryl Fernandez-Versini (formerly Cheryl Cole) will get divorced 13%
10 One Direction will split up 12%