Based so far on the polling done, the mood of the nation so far, and the general trend we're seeing, I'm going to go out on a limb and predict three major things for Canadian politics by the end of the year.
1. There will be two or three governments with the name "Liberal" by the end of the year
I make this simple assumption fairly easily: I don't see the Ontario Liberals as the winning horse in October, but I do see the BC Liberals and the PEI Liberals winning their respective elections. The wild card will be in Quebec, and whether or not Jean Charest calls an early election, despite having a secure majority government.
2. The NDP will lead in a few federal polls, but provincially will end up with less momentum than expected
I say this for a few reasons; one, when the Conservatives inevitably stumble on something, the NDP are the prime party to pick up a few votes. The Liberals are still stuck in neutral, but it'll be important for us to see where the next rise in Dipper support comes from; us or fleeing Tories? Provincially, however, I see the various parties in NL, BC, ON, and PEI all failing to capitalize on support. The simple reason is that none of their leaders are as popular, effective, or oriented as the federal Jack Layton Party is. Boost, yes - winning conditions, I don't think so. The one exception is probably in Manitoba with the currently governing NDP. Saskatchewan is unknown, but Brad Wall is likely too popular to defeat, surge or no.
3. Potential Liberal leaders will be known increasingly towards the end of 2011
This may seem like an odd prediction, given that the race isn't scheduled until 2013; however, much like the Republican presidential primaries to the south, it's likely that the major players to become involved in such a race will be increasingly active a year and a half before, to try and build support now. The main people I see as those we can pick out this early? Dominic LeBlanc, Marc Garneau, and Bob Rae - the latter we look for signs of renegotiating his interim leadership restrictions by this time.
Anyone else have some predictions for the years end? Remember, only five months to go!