My 2022 predictions: Nicola Sturgeon, Boris Johnson and Joe Biden will all announce they're quitting (and Scotland will score some lovely goals at World Cup) – Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP

I don’t know why I keep doing this. If you look across my previous New Year predictions across both this column and social media my record is truly appalling.

Boris Johnson will stand down as Prime Minister and be replaced by Rishi Sunak this year, predicts Alex Cole-Hamilton (Picture: Dan Kitwood/PA Wire)

I am utterly dreadful at predicting the future. This can be evidenced from last year in the fact that Michael Gove is not Prime Minister, Nicola Sturgeon is *still* First Minister of Scotland and the Olympics were not postponed until 2022.

It wasn’t all disastrous, I was right about a couple of things last year. There wasn’t a referendum and pro-independence parties failed to obtain over 50 per cent of the vote between them at the Holyrood elections.

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As with years previous, there were also some things that I just didn’t see coming at all. For instance, if you’d told me last Hogmanay that I’d be leading a political party that was at least seven times more popular than the party led by Alex Salmond I’d have thought you off your rocker. The same goes for if you’d told me that the Lib Dems would win North Shropshire in a by-election from third place and ten per cent.

It’s just a bit of fun and after all, it’s Christmas so here goes. In 2022, I predict:

1: Joe Biden will announce that he will not run for a second term as president of the US. He’s had a tough couple of years. Failing health and popularity will see him step aside. Kamala Harris will immediately announce her intention to run.

2: Boris Johnson will resign as Prime Minister but not in a way that shows any kind of accountability. He will likely lean on a health issue (long Covid?) and will be gone by the summer.

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3: Rishi Sunak will become Prime Minister. After an early showing for Liz Truss in polls of Tory members, her past as an ardent Remainer will undermine her with the Tory base.

4: Scotland will qualify for the World Cup, we will score some lovely, historic goals but sadly won’t make it out of the group stages. England will make it to the final but will lose on penalties (again).

5: Nicola Sturgeon will name the date of her departure as First Minister and Angus Robertson will emerge as her chosen successor. (I know, I know, but as I said last year – a stopped clock is right twice a day.)

6: By August, viral transmission rates in Scotland will be such that we dispense with all remaining Covid precautions including mask wearing and social distancing.

7: The Global North will experience its hottest summer on record, it will finally convince China to come back to the negotiating table and there will be a new commitment to phase out coal power.

There you have it. My crystal ball has been returned to its box for another year. Time will tell if I’m right about any of this.

Can I take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy New Year and my warmest hope that 2022 is better for us all. Keep safe, look after one another and thanks for reading.

Alex Cole-Hamilton is Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for Edinburgh Western

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