Break out the crystal ball. It’s the 2015 prediction edition of the Last Word, all of them subject to change without notice if proven wrong.

Be they based on whispers in the backrooms or just gut feelings, these are ten plausible scenarios for election year politics in Canada.

 

  1. It’s highly likely Julian Fantino will announce he will not seek re-election before the House returns. He will immediately be replaced in the Veterans Affairs portfolio by parliamentary secretary Erin O’Toole.
  2. Less certain, but definitely noise being heard on the Hill, is that Peter MacKay will not seek re-election and be granted a more father-friendly ambassador position. This would also allow him to escape the big red Liberal wave expected to hit Atlantic shores in the fall.
  3. All 16 vacant Senate seats will be filled by Prime Minister Stephen Harper this winter ahead of the Mike Duffy trial, mostly by Conservative hacks and retiring MPs.
  4. U.S. ambassador Gary Doer will be named Governor General next summer.
  5. The federal election will be held as scheduled on Oct. 19, 2015.
  6. The threat of a coalition Liberal or NDP government will be the dominant fixation of Conservatives in attack ads throughout the year in an alarm-clanging push for another majority mandate.
  7. A Conservative minority government will be elected following a shaky foreign affairs policy performance by Justin Trudeau in the leaders’ debates, which cost him the lead in the polls.
  8. Finance Minister Joe Oliver will lose his Toronto seat along with all Conservative MPs in Quebec except for Maxime Bernier.
  9. The Harper government will be toppled after losing a Throne Speech confidence vote in late November. A deal to support a Liberal government for two years will be inked by the NDP in exchange for enacting a national daycare program.
  10. If that happens, Stephen Harper will announce his retirement as Conservative leader in late December. He will become managing director of the International Monetary Fund in 2016.

So that’s 2015 in theory. Of course, coming after a year featuring a gunman in the Centre Block, allegations of sexual harassment between MPs and the death of Jim Flaherty, the safest prediction is that 2015 will be entirely unpredictable.

And that’s the Last Word for 2014.